Divorce: A Complete Guide to Dividing Your Assets

Are you going through a divorce right now? It can be a very emotionally draining process, and there might be many questions in your mind regarding child custody, alimony, and child support; the list doesn’t end.

One of those questions also includes how you and your spouse will divide all the assets. Then their individual and joint debts? To be precise, how will you ensure you come out of your divorce without taking a severe financial blow?

This article will discuss some of the most bulletproof methods for dividing assets among divorcing couples by taking help from the best divorce lawyers.

Hire a Family Lawyer

The first thing you can do to ensure equal division of all assets is to consult with family law lawyers. 

Family law is by far among the most complicated areas of law. For anyone currently going through a divorce, is in the middle of a child custody battle, or wants to divide assets among their divorcing spouse equally, a family law lawyer will help in various ways.

  • They offer complete information regarding legal proceedings.
  • They have extensive knowledge of state laws.
  • They will keep up with any legislation changes.
  • They will ensure your legal documents are correct and up-to-date.
  • They will negotiate a worthy settlement between the two parties.

Family lawyers deal with different divorce-related issues and specialize in a specific domain. For example, child custody lawyers can help you when your ex-spouse may not have been taking care of your children or not letting them meet you. Similarly, divorce lawyers are there to help you reach a win-win solution concerning asset distribution. 

Family law is different in various states. Some rules are determined by the federal state, while the states determine some.

Every state has its law that will govern how the trial courts divide assets and debts among a divorcing couple. So if you’re living in Fresno, you have to look for family law lawyers in Fresno. They will be able to determine the legal system of family law in the area and help you out while dividing your assets accordingly.

There are various ways to divide your assets to ensure you and your spouse attain financial stability when walking out of the marriage. Not many people are aware of what’s the divorce process in the USA – and all its complications. 

Experienced divorce lawyers can help you through this process and ensure a fair division of all the assets. So, if you’re wondering what they are, we have mentioned them below.

Ways to Divide Assets in a Divorce

Your marital assets fall into two categories, i.e., community and non-community properties. Consultation with a divorce lawyer will help you attain a fair division depending on your state’s law.

Community Property States

When it comes to community property, all the assets bought during the course of the marriage are considered marital property and must be divided equally between spouses. This is integral for the asset division regardless of whether the assets purchased only fall under one spouse’s name.

You need to remember that only those assets will be considered community property purchased after the marriage. If one of the spouses signed the marriage contract while having more assets than the other, they could retain those assets without any division.

Non-Community Property States

States that do not have principles of community property must divide the debts and assets via an equitable distribution method.

While it is essential to divide the assets and debts between both spouses equally, the circumstances will warrant this decision. For instance, if one spouse has a better income and can sustain more financial responsibility, they might get less than half the marital assets.

Also, if a divorcing couple doesn’t have fewer assets to distribute but one of the spouses has substantial personal assets, the judge can order them to sell it and then divide the amount equally and pay all the debts.

Factors Courts Consider When Dividing Marital Property

When dividing assets into non-community property states, the trial courts will not split the assets by a said-and-done rule. They will consider several factors that we are mentioning below.

  • Age and health of each spouse
  • Earning potential of each spouse
  • If there are children born out of the marriage
  • Whether the spouse has alimony or child support obligations

One of the most common situations seen in marriages is that one of the spouses significantly has lesser income than the other. This mainly happens when one spouse has spent most of their life being a stay-at-home parent or spouse.

In such cases, the spouse who isn’t earning well and won’t be able to make it through for the next couple of years might be given more than 50% of the assets. Also, in similar cases, if the other spouse has a higher earning potential, they may be required to pay alimony on top of giving them more assets than what they retain.

Can You Divide Marital Assets Yourself?

Given how things can go either way in court, some spouses agree to settle the case out of court and may need a divorce lawyer in this scenario as well. This allows them to divide assets as they deem fit without depending on the courts.

It also ensures both spouses have far more control over their assets than in the previous scenario, and they won’t have to receive any surprises in the court.

However, even in this case, the division of assets has to be equal and fair because, in the end, the judge will have to approve the agreement, and if the settlement isn’t fair, the judge won’t approve of it, which runs the risk of the case going to trial court.

You can also negotiate with your spouse to retain your assets with an out-of-court settlement as long as it is fair.

Conclusion

When you’re going through a divorce, you must hire experienced divorce lawyers to help you get the settlement you want. When dividing assets between spouses, the laws are complex, and you can lose control over your property if you don’t divide them into equal terms.

However, with the help of an expert divorce lawyer for women and men, you can agree with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse and find common ground to divide all the assets and debt. This way, you won’t have to lose your property, and the judge will also approve of what you both have decided.

But remember that no matter what agreement you draw, it must be fair and equal; only then can you retain all your assets. So, don’t go into the divorce proceedings without an expert lawyer in your corner.

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