When facing a divorce, you may wonder how you and your ex-spouse will even begin to divide all of the assets and items collected over the years of marriage. The first step is to get organized. Knowing what you have, and what it is worth, is essential.
However, dividing marital property can be a complex process. Here are some tips to consider as you move forward.
1. Balance financial needs with emotional attachments
Of course, your finances will play a big role in your property division negotiations. However, you may feel an emotional or nostalgic attachment to certain items as well. That is natural – and it is a valid reason to want to keep a select piece of property.
However, you must consider the impacts of keeping such an item. For example, ask yourself:
- Why do you want to keep this asset?
- Is it financially feasible to keep this asset?
This is especially important when it comes to big-ticket items, such as your family home or vacation property. You may feel attached to the house you turned into a home. However, you must first evaluate your financial situation and calculate the future expenses into your budget.
2. Value is key in compromise
The value of your property will make a difference if you and your spouse face disputes over who keeps what. For example, if you and your spouse disagree over who will keep a piece of furniture, it is possible to negotiate with another asset – or a few – that equals the value of that piece.
This is why it is important to obtain accurate valuations of your property. While you take inventory of your assets, it is often beneficial to consult financial and legal professionals to value these items.
3. Establish what is yours
Not everything in your marital home is marital property. That is one of the most important things to understand: what is yours, and what is marital property.
Your ex-spouse cannot claim separate property that is yours under North Carolina law. It is critical to know and determine the difference between separate and marital property, so you can protect your assets during property division.