Disclaimer: This blog does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about your individual situation, it’s best to seek the advice of an experienced legal professional.
Going through a divorce can be a complicated process, and many people wonder where all their assets are going to go. While some couples might think the mutual assets are split right down the middle, that isn’t always the case. The financial and legal experts from Divorce Options San Diego, the expert divorce mediators San Diego couples rely on for creative divorce solutions—offer this quick glimpse at a few of the variables that must be taken into consideration when splitting assets during a divorce.
Many people are surprised to hear that divorcing couples rarely split their assets evenly. After a couple has been married for a few years or decades, it can become very difficult to determine exactly which assets are mutual and which items are considered personal possessions. If the couple shares the same parenting responsibilities and the spouses’ incomes are roughly equal, it might be beneficial to simply split the assets down the middle. However, there are many other factors to consider when splitting assets.
Defining Community & Separate Assets & Debts
One of the first things that must be taken into consideration is determining which assets and debts are shared. California is a community property state, which means any assets and debts you accumulate during the marriage are typically viewed as both spouse’s responsibilities. One example of a shared asset is a house the couple moved into after their marriage. Even if one spouse paid for the house completely, it could still be considered a shared asset if it was purchased after the couple was married. Debts are shared in a similar way. For example, a creditor can hold you responsible for a car loan your spouse agreed to without your consent.
Property that was acquired before the marriage is usually classified as a private asset, but that might change if it was used communally. If the assets were purchased after the date of separation but before the official filing for divorce, those might be considered separate properties as well. At any point during a marriage, a couple can change the classification of any type of property by signing a written agreement.
Determining Property Value
Since physical property can rarely be split down the middle, it must be assigned a monetary value. Once the value has been assigned, there are a few different options to choose from. One spouse can buy out the other spouse’s share of the property, or it can be sold and the profits split evenly. If the couple has any children, their wellbeing must be taken into consideration as well. One spouse might want to stay in the home his or her children were raised in to make their lives easier, and he or she could offer to buy out the other spouse’s share of the home.
Simplifying Your Separation
To make this process as easy as possible, you should consider divorce mediation services. Trying to split your assets in front of a judge can be hectic, time-consuming, and extremely expensive. With a divorce mediator, you and your spouse can sit down with an unbiased party and create an agreement that benefits everyone involved.
The mediators at Divorce Options San Diego are all certified financial planners who apply thorough analysis to your divorce to achieve an optimized result that will cover all aspects of your financial situation, including investments, property, and all other assets or debts. If you and your spouse want to reduce the amount of stress involved in your divorce, the answer you’re seeking may be in divorce mediation. San Diego couples can have every aspect of their divorces handled without the need to hire attorneys, go to court, or spend a small fortune. To learn more about how divorce mediation can be the ideal option for you and your family, call the expert mediators at Divorce Options San Diego today at 858-281-2628.