Married couples typically commingle their assets, while also making joint purchases. From your family home to your vehicles, from your bank accounts to your retirement accounts, sharing is common.
This is all well and good while married, but it can lead to various complications if you decide to divorce.
The creation of a detailed property division checklist can help you better prepare for divorce. Here’s what you need to include:
- Real estate: Many assets fit into this category, including your family home, rental property, vacation property, undeveloped land and business real estate.
- Personal property: A potentially large category, this one includes assets such as china, artwork, furniture, electronics, motor vehicles, collectibles, jewelry, clothing and antiques.
- Financial assets: A category that gets a lot of attention because of its value, including assets such as bank accounts, retirement accounts, educational accounts, pensions, mutual funds, stock and bonds, cash, annuities, certificates of deposit, and life insurance policy cash values.
- Business assets: If you and/or your spouse own a business together or separately, some assets may be subject to division in divorce. These include but are not limited to commercial real estate, furnishings and equipment, and bank accounts.
But what about debts?
Your assets require a lot of attention, but don’t ignore your debts. You also need to divide your liabilities, which will impact your finances now and in the future.
Some of the many types of debt to note on a checklist include:
- Car loans
- Personal loans
- Home equity loan or line of credit
- Joint credit cards
With both assets and debts, make note of whether it’s individual or joint. For example, your name may be the only one on the title to your vehicle, as you owned it before you tied the knot. Just the same, you may have joint credit card debt. Knowing if it’s a joint or separate asset or debt will help you formulate the best possible plan.
A property division checklist, coupled with knowledge of your liabilities, can help you prepare for the divorce process and everything it will bring. With this by your side, you’re in better position to protect your legal rights and fight for what you deserve.