Money issues are frequently a cause of problems in marriages that end in divorce. And the most challenging process in a divorce is coming to agreement over assets. Regardless of income or the amount of the estate, both parties need to focus on an equitable settlement to prevent an inordinate amount of fees going to the attorneys involved.
If you’ve read any of my articles, you know that one of my mantras is ‘plan ahead.’ I see so many people start late with financial planning. Before you see a lawyer about a divorce, talk with a financial planner. You can determine what assets you are able to protect, whether they were acquired during the marriage or not. You have much more flexibility with your account while you are still married, before a separation. Conversations about distribution of property with a spouse will be inevitable, and can save attorney fees if the division is agreed upon prior to going to court.
Marital Assets in Divorce have considerations
It’s important to understand that all property is not community property. What the court considers joint property is a common question. An attorney will be able to cite the specific laws, but generally speaking, marital property consists of assets acquired during the marriage, including:
- retirement plan funds
- stocks and stock options
- brokerage accounts
- closely-held businesses
You have rights regarding your nonmarital property (also called separate property) which includes an inheritance that is kept separate from joint accounts or received prior to or after your marriage. Other assets considered nonmarital are things that you owned prior to the marriage (as long as you kept them in your name, such as real estate), a gift received from a party outside the marriage, and sometimes a settlement awarded for pain and suffering in a personal injury case.
Your Marital Assets in Divorce
If you are considering divorce, it’s especially important that you gather the information you need regarding custody issues, what assets are common to share vs. divide and tax factors. Being well-prepared with information and support will earn benefits in terms of a more fair arrangement in the end.
Read more: Divorce in Texas
marital assets in divorce