19 Nov Guide to Dividing Property and Debt During Divorce
Going through a divorce is trying on anyone, regardless of how that decision ultimately came about. From taking the steps to move out of the family home to becoming accustomed with a new way of life, the challenges may seem endless. This is why, when it comes time to divvy up the marital assets and debts, the last thing you want to do is go into the process blindly. Use our guide to dividing property and debt during divorce to help yourself and your former partner come to a fair and amicable agreement.
Decide on a Discussion Method
Depending on your particular circumstances, there are a few different ways to discuss the division of your property. Of course, talking about it between yourselves is ideal. However, if your divorce is tumultuous, you may need to bring the court into the matter. In community property states such as Washington, the court operates with the idea that both parties own all assets and debts 50-50, though this might change depending on your personal situation.
Create a List of Assets
Once you and your partner decide how to best discuss the split, the next step is to determine what you have to divide between you. These assets include anything that you have acquired during the course of the marriage and even things you had beforehand. This could be houses, cars, recreational items, or personal and joint bank accounts. Making note of everything you own, both individually and together, will ensure it all gets properly addressed when it comes time to make an agreement.
Value Your Property
Another important task to take on is the process of valuing the items you listed. To achieve the fairest outcome, it’s vital that you’re aware of the actual value associated with each of your joint assets. So you’ll need to take the time to let an industry professional appraise each item and calculate the total worth in question.
Factor in Your Individual and Joint Debt
Next, it’s time to go through the same process with your combined debts. This could be home, auto, or student loans or even outstanding medical bills.
Along with determining the total debt between you, keep track of any personal debts you accumulated before the marriage. Doing so can give both parties a better idea of how the remaining balance can be best divided.
In this guide to dividing property and debt during divorce, we covered a series of steps that will help you receive a just ruling. But in addition to making lists and carefully calculating the split, it’s also important that you seek legal counsel. If you’re in need of a knowledgeable property division lawyer in Washington State to represent you, LaCoste Family Law can help. We are a client-focused firm that will go the extra mile to ensure every part of the process goes smoothly for you. Contact us today for a legal consultation.