Knock-down, drag-out fights over marital property is usually about more than the property itself. A lot of the time, it's a sign of a high-conflict personality and a sign that you're in for complicated negotiations. Some property battles involve important assets like the marital home or retirement accounts. Others involve trivial property or property that neither side really wants or needs. Learn how to prioritize your assets to promote a smoother divorce and property division process.
Consider the True Cost of the Asset
Holding onto a particular asset might seem like a big deal – that is, until you have to pay property taxes, maintenance costs, and other ancillary expenses associated with it…alone.
There are plenty of reasons people want to hold onto marital assets like second homes, boats, or extra vehicles. But these will likely become very costly to maintain for the spouse left with the property after the divorce. Second homes require property taxes and maintenance; boats require docking fees and fuel; and extra vehicles require auto insurance and regular service.
Sometimes, it makes the most sense to relinquish the asset to the other spouse or liquidate the item all together and split the proceeds. This way, you can free up some funds to place in savings and avoid added costs dragging down your post-divorce budget.
Make a List of What You Really Want
Listing all of your assets is good practice when you're getting divorced. I help my clients do this so we know what is at stake during property division. It lets us work towards an equitable division that is fair to both sides.
But it also helps lay out everything the couple owns so my client can start listing what is really important to him or her. This way we all know what to fight for and what we don't mind giving up.
Ask yourself questions like these:
- Do I really want the marital home? Would I mind finding other housing? Would I prefer to find a new home?
- Do I need that vacation home? Will I use it often? Can I afford it? Am I just hoping to keep it away from my ex?
- How important to me is that wine collection? Would I prefer to start over and build a new one?
Ask yourself questions like these. Don't put an asset on the list just for spite or to keep it away from your ex. Letting go of certain things might even be a good way to move on. That fine china collection might bring up too many memories of hosting parties as a couple. Or it might be nice to relinquish the furniture so you can start fresh in your new place.
Work with a Good Family Law Attorney in Bellevue
A level head can be the most valuable asset in the divorce process. Put aside the anger and emotion while you negotiate the division of assets. If an asset is really important to you, we can fight for it. Otherwise, don't let it hinder the negotiations; it might be best to let it go or liquidate it.
Do not hesitate to contact me at the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny in Bellevue if you are going through a divorce. Call 425-460-0550.