There are many reasons that lead to divorce. Data from a study published in the Journal of Family Issues indicates that 19.2% of divorce cases are due to compatibility issues, and 10.6% due to drinking or drug abuse. However, no matter the cause of the divorce, there will almost always be issues when it comes to dividing assets which is why people end up getting divorce lawyers. Here is how assets are shared in a divorce.
Type of Property You Own
The division of property is usually dictated by state law and contested by divorce lawyers. There are two kinds of properties. These are separate property or community property. When you divorce, community property is shared by both partners while each one of you gets to keep their separate property.
Separate property is property belonging to one spouse. This includes things that were owned by one spouse before the marriage. It also encompasses gifts or inheritances specifically given to one partner. Lastly, pensions vested before marriage also fall under this category.
This is property that both of you acquired as a couple. For instance, this covers money that you placed into a joint checking account for the payment of bills during your marriage. Property like houses that you contributed towards is also considered community property.
How Community Property Is Shared
Equally: In some states, community property is shared equally between the two partners.
Equitable distribution: In other states, community property is shared equitably but not necessarily split in half. The state will find a way to make the settlement fair for both partners.
You must also note that when the property is divided, it doesn’t necessarily mean that everything is divided in half. The court often grants each partner a certain percentage of the total value of the property.
Dividing up Property Yourselves
Usually, if a divorce is uncontested, and the spouses are still on talking terms, they may even go ahead and divide the property themselves without divorce lawyers. The first step would be to list all belongings and values of the property. You can then go through your list and decide who should get what. It is advisable to start with the biggest items and end with smaller, less valuable things.
After you have reached an agreement, you will need to get the judge’s approval. Usually, the judge will just approve whatever you have agreed upon. Judges will only disapprove if they think one party seems to have agreed to take significantly less than the other.