When people are attempting to settle the issues of a divorce, two areas that are most likely to cause problems are children and property. Most people have no trouble agreeing to end a marriage, particularly if things are going badly between the couple. However, both parties to a divorce often do not see the deterioration of the relationship as their “fault” and therefore do not see why they should have to give up any of their hard-earned money or any time with their own children.
Unfortunately, settling questions of property division and child custody is simply a part of the divorce process and cannot be avoided. Even the most cordial divorces are subject to this type of division, and sometimes negotiations that start out well may wind up being caustic before all is said and done. Therefore, having the advice and support of a family law attorney from the very beginning of the process may be the best plan, even if you expect the divorce to “go well.”
What Happens When Couples Separate Property?
Couples separate property by deciding who will keep which assets and who will pay which liabilities. In some cases, couples can agree to this on their own; in others, a court must make these decisions for them.
Property can include real estate, money that is in bank accounts, furniture, jewelry, clothing and other tangible items as well as intangible amounts such as the value of life insurance policies or the value of pension plans that have not yet been paid out.
How Can Couples Most Easily Separate Their Property?
It is not easy to be objective when dealing with divorce issues, but objectivity is one of the most important qualities in getting a divorce settled quickly and simply. Some things to keep in mind when trying to separate property in a divorce are:
- Never “pay” more for property than it is worth. Sometimes one party will wind up paying hundreds of dollars in attorney’s fees for an item that is not worth much. If you can replace it easily, do not hassle over it in the settlement.
- Property settlement is a give and take. If your spouse cheated or otherwise behaved badly, it may be tempting to “punish” him or her by withholding agreement on property division. However, this is an expensive revenge that may not work. Instead, work your emotional issues out in other ways and keep the property settlement a business deal.
- Work with an attorney. An attorney can help you stay on the right path to a quick and profitable property settlement.
Attorneys at the Men’s Legal Center are ready to help you stand up for your rights but stay objective about divorce property settlements.