If you don’t approach property division with healthy expectations and a cool head, your divorce could turn into an all-out brawl, the likes of which could lock you into a miserable legal battle, exponentially multiplying your court and attorney fees. In order to avoid the expense and emotional trauma of a contentious property division battle, be sure to do the following:
Remember that a perfectly even split is rare. Even if you consider the relative value of marital assets and how it may change over time, you are unlikely to achieve a 50/50 divorce settlement. This is because some assets are simply not sharable and cannot be evenly divided down the middle. Some assets, such as retirement savings, could potentially be split down the middle, while others, such as cars and rental properties, are much more easily (and likely to be) awarded to one spouse. The goal of property division is to allocate marital property in the fairest way possible, but demanding a perfect bisection of your shared property could set you up for contentious divorce. However, acknowledging in advance that a fair settlement may yet be imperfect will poise you to navigate your divorce with greater ease and minimal dissension.
Consider how the dollar value of different assets may change over time. When you and your spouse break up your accounts, assets, and property, it will be essential to your future financial wellbeing to consider more than just the current value of each asset. Some assets increase in value over time, while others may decrease in value or require continued investment of time and money to retain their value (such as your marital residence).
If the property division conversation gets sticky, try mediation. It will make your life much easier if you and your spouse agree on as much as possible when dividing up marital property. However, there may come a point where a couple butts heads over whether certain assets are shared or personal or disagrees on how property should be allocated. When this happens, remember there are far more effective, affordable alternatives to duking it out in front of a judge. Mediation is once such alternative. It is completely confidential, involves a court-appointed third party, and can help couples come up with workable solutions when disentangling their assets and property, without the binding order of a judge.
Experienced Divorce Attorneys in St. Louis
If you are getting divorced, we can help you take stock of your shared and marital property and start thinking about how to make the process of property division as streamlined and painless as possible. Our team at Kallen Law Firm has a vested interest in helping you achieve the best possible outcome.