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Splitting property: Mediation and negotiating can help

Divorce comes with many hardships, from starting over to splitting assets you may have shared for years. Here are a few things to think about before you opt for divorce.

First, do you and your spouse understand how much it will cost to divorce? This includes legal fees and court costs as well as the potential losses associated with splitting your assets. Will you be able to work out who owns what on your own or is it more likely to end up in a contentious trial? You can work with a mediator if you think there will be issues with asset division, or you can speak with your attorney about negotiating with your spouse.

Next, think about how long a divorce may take. If you can work together, it may not be long, but if not, it could take months or years for your divorce to finalize. Remember, you need to make sure you can access all information on your assets ahead of time; if you have to go to court over them, your attorney will want to review what you have access to and factors that may help your negotiation. If you can't come up with a settlement on your own, know that the court can make a determination for you that you will have little say in.

Remember to write down the exact date of separation for the courts. It's important to note this, because property obtained after that date is not able to be split by the divorce court. Once all your property is identified, it's important to discuss a fair division of your assets; with the right strategy, both parties should walk away from the divorce satisfied. Our website has more information on divorce and property division.

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