Dividing marital property is a key component of the divorce process. Property division can be a difficult process though, especially when there are complicated assets in the mix. The average married couple in Alabama probably has quite a few difficult assets to deal with during divorce, since most assets acquired after saying “I do” are marital property.
One of the first steps you will take is to divide marital property and separate property. Separate property is anything that you own personally, and often includes items that you brought into the marriage. Things like personal gifts and inheritances are often personal property as well.
Dealing with real estate
As if purchasing and owning real estate was not enough of a challenge, it might also be one of the biggest challenges you face during divorce. Real estate is often the most valuable asset in a divorce. You might also have an emotional attachment to whatever piece of property is in the mix. Some common types of real estate that show up in divorce include:
- The marital home
- Vacation houses
- Business properties
- Commercial properties
Deciding what to do with the family home may invoke the most emotions out of any of these properties. If you had children, you might not be ready to say goodbye to the house in which you raised them. Or perhaps you would like to keep the home until all of your children are adults and moved out of the house. Either way, you must carefully consider whether the cost of maintaining and paying for the home fits into your post-divorce budget.
Addressing joint debts
Divorce does not cancel your obligation to pay off marital debts. It does, however, make things a bit more complicated. For example, if your ex ends up keeping the family home, he or she should be sure to refinance the mortgage. Otherwise, you could still be on the hook for missed payments.
You will also need to be fully aware of how much debt is at play. The last thing you want is to end up paying off more than your fair share of the joint debt. Be sure to look through your credit report for any debts listed in your name of which you are unaware.
Keep an eye out for financial assets
Many people immediately think of physical property when they hear the word “assets.” However, you will also be dividing up financial assets just like any other property. Here are just a few examples of financial assets:
- Bank accounts
- Retirement savings
There are many things to keep in mind when going through the property division process. Some assets have certain tax implications, while others may come with upkeep costs. Those who are seeking financial security after a divorce should be sure to take all of this and more into careful consideration.