If divorcing couples cannot agree on the distribution of their marital possessions, the court intervenes and divides the property for them. So, if you and your spouse wish to manage the distribution of your belongings on your own terms, you can create a property division agreement that is suitable for the both of you. In creating such, it will be in your best interest to contact an experienced family law attorney to draft an agreement that considers the distribution guidelines followed by the court.
During divorce, the courts follow an equitable distribution model for the division of property. In short, they work toward a fair division. The court considers various factors that you and your spouse should as well.
First, it is extremely important to discuss what items can be considered marital property. Marital property is virtually any possession obtained during marriage. Usually, the items you’ve acquired solely on your own, prior to marriage will be excluded as such. Exceptions to this rule include property that was initially separate but appreciated in value during the marriage.
If you purchased a home in your name prior to the marriage, that home is technically separate property. However, if you decide to rent that home to tenants during your marriage, the collected rent is marital. Appropriately handling such property can prove difficult without the assistance of a divorce attorney.
Next, if both you and your spouse have made decisions regarding child custody, consider the arrangements when dividing property. When a judge reviews the agreement, he or she will want to ensure that the best interests of your child are met accordingly. Consider agreeing that the spouse with primary custody will live in the marital home. The child/children can stay in a familiar environment if such is decided.
Lastly, spousal support is an important component for consideration when dividing property. A judge will search for any provisions on alimony when deciding whether to accept the agreement or not. When this occurs, there are numerous ways to reconcile spousal support and property distribution.
For example, the spouse paying alimony may receive a larger percentage of the property distribution to account for the extra expense. Or, if one spouse is significantly wealthier than the other, the less wealthy spouse may receive the marital home, plus spousal support to ensure that the property is upheld.
If you and your spouse want to decide the division of your possessions during divorce, a divorce attorney can help to ensure that both of your desires are represented fairly by the arrangement. Contact Gail Spielberger at Snee, Lutche, Helmlinger & Spielberger, P.A. for more information on divorce and separation agreements, or for any questions you may have.