Dividing assets during divorce settlement negotiations

It's holiday season, and that might mean that you've finally reached a boiling point with your divorce. Stress isn't uncommon, and it can be downright difficult to talk about dividing your assets when you're trying to plan for the holidays.

At this point, you can decide to wait until after the holidays to move forward or work through your settlement as you push through the winter months. Either way, you need to understand how assets get divided during divorce, so you can smartly negotiate.

There are a number of assets you'll need to think about when you start dividing your property. You rental or residential properties, pension plans, stocks and businesses all may be divided. Things like furniture and art can't be overlooked; they're assets too, no matter how small or if you consider them without value.

Speaking of value, remember that not all items are to be taken at their current value when you negotiate. Things like your stocks could bring in more money later, so their values might differ during the negotiation process. Retirement funds will be increasing over the next few years or decades, so remember to calculate how much the accounts are really worth when it's time to cash them out.

While you're thinking about your assets, it's time to write down any assets that are yours alone. This separate property should not be included in asset division negotiations, but if it is, your attorney can help you prove that it is not a marital asset. If you have crossed the line and merged funds or properties, you might have to negotiate to avoid a loss.

Source: Forbes, "Understanding How Assets Get Divided In Divorce," Jeff Landers, accessed Dec. 02, 2016

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