1. Who Gets What in a Divorce? The Answer Isn’t Always Obvious

    “Property division is central to all divorce cases. Whether you have a high-asset estate, or a house, some savings and a pension, the same rules apply.” (Bryan Salamone

    Going through a divorce? Then you’re familiar with the concept of “property division.” 

    For some assets, it’s easy: sell the house and split the money.  Decide who gets the laptop and who takes the iPad. Burn that atrocious painting done by your neighbor’s son during his six-week stint as an art major. 

    But the solution isn’t so obvious for everything: 

    1. Debt:

    “A divorce decree addresses, among other things, division of both the assets and debts accrued during the course of a marriage. This includes credit card debt. Credit card companies, however, are not bound by divorce decrees. Unless you are careful right from the moment you decide to separate, you can end up being liable for credit card debt incurred by your ex. Experts recommend that divorcing couples exit the marriage with no joint debt.” (Lawyers.com

    2. Pets:

    “Pet custody is one of the hottest topics in divorce law, and disputes over pets have caused many divorce negotiations to stall in their tracks. This is difficult for many non-pet owners to understand, but pets often hold a special place in their owner’s hearts and the thought of not being able to interact with the pet on a daily basis can cause a lot of anguish… In most states, pets are considered property, and they don’t have any special status under the law. As heartless as that may seem to pet owners, pets are simply an object to be divided up much like a bank account or a retirement account.” (Adrian Altshuler

    3. Family photos:

    “There are often thousands of photos taken during a marriage and, yes, they are all community property. There is no value to be placed on such items – they are truly priceless – and any given photo would be destroyed if it is physically divided.  Therefore, what typically occurs is that all photos – or selected photos – are copied for one spouse while the originals are retained by the other.  The cost of duplication is typically shared by the parties.  While most people use digital cameras these days, many of us still have a stockpile of photographs and negatives hidden in drawers. These are still the subject of property division in modern-day divorces.” (Marlo Van Oorschot

    4. A business:

    “If your ex- is not a business partner, the court will most likely rule that it is in the best financial interest of both parties that you continue as the proprietor. However, your business may be classified as marital property and its worth may be factored into the division of assets. You will need to get a professional business appraisal. Your ex-spouse may hire someone to appraise your business, as well, and if the valuations are different, you may be in for a much longer, more expensive court case.” (The Byrd Law Firm

    5. Insurance policies:

    “The common system of employer sponsored health insurance can leave you scrambling for coverage after your divorce. Possibly your employer does not provide insurance or you worked as a stay at home parent whose only access to the reasonably-priced group insurance rates was through your spouse’s job. Options available on the free market are limited and expensive. Your former spouse is prohibited from keeping you on the policy and so this possibility is nonnegotiable.” (Bryan Salamone

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Notes

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