Not every divorce case is complex. When a couple agrees on the various issues regarding their divorce, and they don’t have extensive assets, the process can be ended relatively quickly. However, most divorces involve complicated matters that aren’t as simple to resolve. Contentious disagreements and communication issues can make the division of marital property difficult. By understanding the issues that may arise during the process, you can better prepare to navigate the road ahead.
Divorce is often easier to comprehend with an attorney at your side. Robbins & Licavoli, PLLC represents your best interests in complex property division cases. Contact us for a consultation where we can talk about your specific case.
Before you and your spouse can start deciding how property will be divided, you must determine what assets are considered to be separate property and which are marital property. Essentially, marital property includes all debts and assets that were gained during the marriage. These assets will need to be divided between both parties during the divorce. Separate property, or assets that were owned prior to the marriage, as well as other items that may be excluded according to a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, will not be divided and instead be retained by the original owner.
However, it is sometimes difficult to determine what is marital property and which is separate when a couple “commingles” their assets. The process may require accountants and other professionals to trace assets to their source, so you must speak to an attorney.
Disagreement on who should have the family home is among the most common disputes in a divorce. Understandably, both spouses may be sentimentally attached to the house and therefore want ownership. Other disagreements may come about when spouses own several real estate properties. High net worth couples may need to split vacation homes and condos where they live seasonally.
After an entrepreneur has put years of their life into building a business, splitting these assets in a divorce can be contentious. A business is most likely one of the most valuable assets that the couple owns, and it is likely their main source of income. To properly address business assets, the couple may need a business valuation to determine its value and liabilities. Some spouses may wish to continue to jointly own the business, while others may divide the assets equitably.
If one spouse is a corporate executive and receives financial benefits from compensation plans, stocks and profit sharing, an accountant will need to review these assets to determine what the other spouse is entitled to. Other complex assets owned by an executive may include retirement accounts and pensions. Since some of these assets may need to be allocated to the other spouse, you’ll need to discuss your options with an attorney for a fair settlement.
Couples must determine who will be responsible for paying marital debts that arose over the course of the marriage. These debts may include loans, balances on credit cards and mortgages. It’s important to keep in mind that creditors can still hold both parties liable for the debt, regardless of what the divorce settlement says.
If you’re seeking a divorce, Robbins & Licavoli, PLLC is prepared to represent your best interests. Contact us to discuss complex property division today.