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Use a property division checklist to save time, reduce stress

There are many things that can stand between you and finalizing your divorce. For example, matters of property division often get in the way. While you have one thing in mind, your soon-to-be ex-spouse is thinking about something entirely different. It's this type of disagreement that can slow things down.

When dividing property, there are a few things you can do to save time and reduce stress. To start, make a list of your community and separate property.

Community property is anything that is subject to division. These are assets that you accumulated during your marriage, such as a home you purchased together.

Separate property, however, is anything you brought into the marriage as well as inherited assets. These assets are not subject to division.

Organization is essential to your success, so using a property division checklist is a good idea. Here is a basic structure you can use:

  • Real estate: Anything that qualifies as real estate goes here. Most commonly, this includes your marital home, vacation properties, rental properties and any land that you own.
  • Personal property: This is typically objects that you keep at home. Think about things such as antiques, artwork, jewelry, china, collections, furniture, electronics, guns and motor vehicles.
  • Financial assets: Often the most valuable category, this includes bank accounts, retirement accounts, cash on hand, pensions, stocks and bonds, mutual funds, trusts, annuities and life insurance policy cash values.
  • Business assets: If one or both spouses own a business, there are assets that can come into play during divorce. For example, if you own your office, as opposed to renting, it could be subject to division.

By using a property division checklist, you'll be more confident in your ability to get what you deserve as a result of your divorce. It will also help you clear your mind, thus making it easier to negotiate and compromise.

When you combine a property division checklist with knowledge of your legal rights, you'll never feel like you're getting the short end of the stick. An experienced divorce attorney can review your situation and provide guidance regarding property division issues.

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