Going through a divorce can bring on a whole host of legal issues that can be difficult to resolve. Child custody, child support, and spousal support are often vigorously debated, with each side having a vested interest in the outcome. The same goes for property division, too. Each party may have attachments to certain pieces of property, but it is important to not only focus on those assets. Instead, an individual going through a divorce should be sure to identify all community property, meaning property obtained after marriage and before the marital cut-off date, and valuate it appropriately so that decisions can be made for the long term. An experienced Family law attorney can assist in this process.
While many divorces deal with the division of bank accounts, real estate, cars, retirement accounts, and stock, there are many other pieces of community property that some forget to consider but which carry significant value. Cemetery plots, for example, can have significant value and can be used in negotiations. Also, collections and memorabilia may be extremely valuable. Coins, comic books, antiques, art, books, and sports memorabilia can all be valuable. Though one party to the divorce may not be interested in this property, if it was acquired during the marriage then he or she may be entitled to half its value. Other assets to consider are country club memberships, gifts received during marriage, intellectual property, winning lottery tickets, money loaned to others and payable to either spouse, and travel reward points.
Family legal issues can be difficult to resolve. Emotions can get in the way of meaningful negotiation, leading to hurtful arguments and a dragged out process. Fortunately, an experienced family law attorney can help attempt to make property division fair and equal so that the client he represents starts her new life out on solid financial footing.
To achieve this, a family law attorney can spur negotiations with the other side. Through this process, the attorney can seek specific property his client wants while at the same time retaining a fair share of the value of the community property. If the negotiations break down, the attorney can present his client’s case to the judge, who will make a final judgment. When coming to an agreement on important divorce legal issues seems impossible, a caring attorney can make all the difference in reaching a favorable outcome.
Source: Forbes, “Divorcing Women: Don’t Forget These Marital Assets,” Jeff Landers, Oct. 16, 2013