Divorce Is A Pain In The Assets

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Divorce is hard enough, and dividing assets doesn’t offer much in the way of relief. And although Carrie Underwood fans might get satisfaction out of trashing their ex’s car, the headache of the following highly-likely legal battle will probably have her paying him back for damages. (And by the way, carving your name “into his leather seat”… definitely not a good idea, either, because now there’s no question who did it!)

Jokes aside, you need to know what to expect once the divorce has been decided. You need to determine what steps will be necessary to take to make it to freedom, what do you get to take with you, what debts have to become solely yours, and what do you have to share. Make sure you know what steps you need to take to file for divorce.

Three Primary Considerations

Before deciding how things should be distributed, you need to first jump in and start somewhere. But where? Looking at these three things before everything else can help you plan ahead so all your bases are covered. Considering these things will also help you get an idea of what negotiations will have to happen down the road up ahead.

  1. DEPENDENTS. This most often means children or other minor or disabled relatives, but it can also mean pets.

Ask Yourself:

 

  • Can terms be amicably decided within a reasonable amount of time?

 

This is an important question because even if you can’t stand your ex, the case most often is that the children still love you both and don’t want to lose either one of you.

  • You should know that it is considered child abuse to turn kids against their parent and keep them from seeing each other if they want to (except in extreme conditions), but there can be legal restrictions if safety is a concern.

Your best bet in this situation is to not waste time and talk with a sincere and dedicated family lawyer. They can consult with you about your best options. Remember, every state handles this a little differently.  

  1. DEBTS. This includes debts that you each brought into the marriage as well as ones you created together.

Ask Yourself:

 

  • Can we both easily decide who will pay for what?

 

Did you know that not every state just cuts it all down the middle?  Also, some states might require you to pay for the other person’s debts even though other states would let you off the hook? It’s true. Check out another article that goes more in-depth about student loans and divorce.

  • Whatever you do, DON’T simply disregard payments that are due and just expect the the other person to pay for it if they don’t want to. This could hurt your credit! The truth is that the debts must continue to be paid in a timely manner, and if that is a problem, you need to talk to your creditors and discuss possible options.
  1. ASSETS. If things have been going smoothly, the who-literally-gets-what battle tends to begin with some soon-to-be-ex couples. Many times, each individual’s attorney will do their best to help the pair reach the fairest settlement, but this can turn into a lot of nitpicking rather fast.

Ask Yourself:

 

  • Can we come to an agreement about who gets to keep what?

 

This can become a very sore subject, especially once one party sees the other party start packing up things they don’t want to let go of. Oftentimes the court can step in if necessary to decide who gets the computer, the nicest TV, the stereo system, the new fridge that was bought only last year, etc.

  • As mentioned in the beginning about vandalizing the other person’s property—DON’T do it. If the car is in their name and you destroyed it, then you will probably have to pay them back. Same goes if someone wants to smash the other person’s guitar, run over their golf clubs, destroy artwork, etc. In some cases, there may be a slim chance it could be ok if both of your names are on something like the title of the car, but your best bet is to consult your divorce attorney about that one. Also, remember that every state is a little different in how it handles divorce.

This list is obviously not exhaustive, but these are definitely the most common items that couples have to think about when they have to divorce. If you get the help of a divorce lawyer, they can guide you through this process so that you can be sure that no stone is left unturned. After making the necessary considerations, your lawyer will help you file, strategize, and negotiate so that you get what you are entitled to after everything is said and done.

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