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Setting property division priorities pre-divorce

On Behalf of | Jan 7, 2024 | Property Division

Setting property division priorities before entering the divorce process is a important step that requires careful consideration and planning. Divorce can be an emotionally charged and complex process, and having a clear understanding of your priorities regarding property division can help navigate this challenging process more effectively.

Before you can set priorities for the process so that you can impact the outcome of your situation most effectively, it’s important to understand the difference between marital and separate property. Marital property includes assets and debts acquired during the marriage, while separate property refers to assets owned prior to the marriage or received as a gift or inheritance that have not been comingled and remain the sole property of one spouse or another. While your priorities can influence your approach to dividing marital property, separate property will remain with its sole owner post-divorce.

What should you do to prepare?

To start crafting informed priorities, start by taking a thorough inventory of all marital assets and debts. This includes bank accounts, real estate, retirement accounts, investments and personal property. Understanding your financial situation in its entirety provides a clearer picture of what needs to be divided and helps in setting realistic priorities.

Then, you’ll need to reflect on your post-divorce needs and long-term financial goals. Do you need to get a new home? Are retirement savings a priority? Understanding what you need to maintain financial stability after the divorce is key in setting your priorities. Once your priorities are set, document them clearly. This will serve as a guide throughout the divorce process.

In divorce, compromise is often necessary. While you may have clear priorities, being flexible and open to negotiation is important. Understand that you may not get everything you want and be prepared to make trade-offs. This is where keeping your top priorities in mind can come in handy, because you may find that you’re more willing to compromise on secondary priorities as long as you get what you really need in the end.