asset protection lawyer Chicago, IL

Fairly Dividing Assets With Your Spouse

Family Lawyer

While divorce is an emotional, burdensome process for both you and your spouse, it’s important to be aware of your rights during this legal proceeding. Being educated on how your specific state governs a divorce is essential to you, and your family lawyer can walk you through how the separation of assets works. In California, the law requires that everything contributed by each spouse during the marriage should be divided equitably. This doesn’t mean you need to split everything down the middle – but rather, you must divide assets in a way that is fair to both parties involved. You can work together to trade assets off and ultimately find a fair settlement. A lawyer, like one of our lawyers at Kempen & Company, will help you understand what is fair for you, and when you should stand your ground over a certain asset. We’ve listed some factors below, for now, to consider when dividing assets.

What Assets Need To Be Divided During Divorce?

Assets that you and your spouse earned during or contributed to during the marriage need to be split equitably or fairly. These assets can include both tangible and intangible items such as – bank accounts, cars, family home, clothing, investments you’ve earned money from, furniture, stocks, businesses, pension, and employment benefits. Because this wide variety of assets can be classified in different ways, working with a lawyer will help you reach a fair settlement, and make you feel comfortable and secure after your divorce is finalized.

What Isn’t Divided During A Divorce?

In California, if you have separate property, it belongs to you individually, and you don’t need to factor this property in as part of the settlement. Typically this separate property can be classified as property you brought into your marriage. Additionally, gifts intended for you and inheritances are also assets you should not need to divide. These classifications are important because it’s inevitable for lines to get blurred. One example is a house that you bought before your marriage, but then lived in with your spouse – this is considered commingled property. A lawyer will help you understand what is community property and separate property and what counts as an asset to divide.

How Do You Divide Debt?

Debt is like most of the other assets to divide. It should be handled equitably and fairly. You each are responsible for continuing to pay any debt that you acquired during the marriage. And even if the debt is under just one of your names, in most cases, both of you are still responsible for paying it off. In some cases you can negotiate debt during divorce though – for example if there’s a particular asset you really want to hold onto, like a car, boat, or another special item, you can agree to take on a certain amount more debt in order to keep this other special asset of yours. It’s all a case-by-case scenario for spouses. So the more professional you are in handling the separation of assets, the smoother the process will likely be.

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