Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Money and Property after a Divorce: What Happens



Dividing the property of the family during the divorce is an incredibly difficult task. There are always certain aspects and assets like houses, retirement and pension plans, stock options, accounts and much more. 

Even in the friendliest of situations, deciding who gets what can be quite a challenge.

There are different types of property, as viewed by the law, and although various countries, states, and even regions differ in different legal aspects and legal details, there are some general guidelines to follow when it comes to such a hard issue.


Valuing the property


The first step in this unpleasant process is deciding on the property value for the settlement. If a couple in question can’t agree upon the value, the court calls for a joint report from various experts and estate surveyors in order to get the accurate assessment. 

The value of the property may be updated if the sudden rise or fall in the market occurs, but usually, such events are planned ahead in the original report. Setting a definite value on the property is necessary for the finalization of the legal process.


Getting a financial agreement


In the case where the couple manages to work out money and property issues, the entire process can avoid court hearings. There are lots of experts that can help with this issue like East Coast Family Lawyers that can provide legal services to the couple, making legally binding financial agreements and speeding up the entire process. 

This differs from one legal system to another, but usually, if ex-partners agree in front of a solicitor to split all the belongings 50-50, and reach a financial agreement – this can help get on their feet during the divorce as soon as possible and also avoid a lot of unpleasant court time.


What property gets divided


Basically, there are two types of property: marital property and separate property. The marital property includes all the property either spouse bought during the marriage, and the property both partners bought in this time period. 

Separate property is the property that one of the spouses owned before the marriage and it can’t be divided.

Marital property gets divided regardless of whose name it’s entitled to, and even things like personal gifts from one spouse to another represent marital property that will be divided in the process of divorce. 

Pension and retirement plans, tax and debts and basically anything made during the marriage goes under the marital property, so these factors may be divided amongst spouses.

Separate property includes any property that was owned by any of the spouses prior to the marriage, an inheritance received before or after the marriage, gifts received from third parties and payments received for pain and suffering. 

However, if you choose to mix the properties, for example, add your partner’s name as a co-owner of a property you owned before the marriage, it will most likely be observed as a marital property during the divorce.


What if agreement can’t be reached


The biggest nightmare for most of the people going through this difficult process is – what if the agreement can’t be reached? 

Again, depending on the legal system of the country, state or region you’re at, laws differ significantly, but generally, courts have the power to provide all the necessary help and mediation between the spouses.

In certain cases, when there was proof of domestic violence or if there was an involvement of social services the mediation won’t be needed as the courts usually help the victim. 

Certain cases like deciding on the custody of the children, however, will call for detailed hearings and multiple social services meetings.


Moving on



Usually, most of the parties involved in divorce just want to sell the property and simply move on, but in today’s market, this may prove to be quite a challenging task. 

Even with the divorce fully finalized, there are real estate agencies that need both of the owners, or their legal representatives, to be present at the same time. 

The value you get for the property also drops, so probably the best advice for recently divorced people is – don’t have very high expectations, and consider renting for some time.

Conclusion

Any type of divorce is hard, and it’s even harder when you think of all the details that need to be completed before the end of the process. 

Getting a professional help, and finding a right solicitor that will address all of your questions in such situations is crucial. Keep your chin up, and don’t be afraid to ask for help, in order to understand your rights fully.

Leila Dorari is a marketing consultant and a freelance writer from Sydney. She has been working with different companies for 5 years now. When taking a break from making new marketing slogans, she is either window shopping or exploring new ways to make her life more meaningful.


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