Divorce is always a painful process. Splitting assets for its cash value is often a difficult end to a relationship that did not work out. Emotions run high, even in an amicable divorce. Being prepared is the best way to ensure both parties receive their fair share of the marital assets and debts. Listing shared properties of value, dividing properties with written evaluations by a neutral party and listing all goals for your divorce are important to avoid costly mistakes and a satisfactory outcome.
List All Items of Value
Every couple has items of value. A family home is a piece of real property. Vehicles, jewelry, family heirlooms and furniture may all have monetary value. Family businesses or savings and retirement accounts are part of the marital assets as well. Credit card or loan debt is part of the equation too. These items are all part of the marital estate. Having a list of all valued property makes division easier and ensures both parties receive their fair share.
Evaluating the Property
Massachusetts is an equitable division state meaning the courts have discretion in dividing the marital estate. Written evaluations by a neutral third-party are important in establishing the fair market value of assets.
Bring a Written List of Goals
It is important for each person to know their goals. Writing them down gives a person the opportunity to ensure they reach their goals. Referring to a list of assets, their values and goals ensures a comprehensive resolution.
Mediation and litigation are different ways for couples to divide the marital estate, establish custody of children as well as setting child support and spousal support. Being prepared with a list of goals, assets, incomes, debts as well as appraisals, tax returns, pay stubs, bank statement, a mortgage payoff statement and brokerage statements, pension/401 k statements and credit card statements is essential for both mediation and litigation. It is the only way to achieve a fair settlement in a timely fashion for both parties. If you are considering divorce mediation or litigation, please call our office to learn more.