Property division is one factor that a divorcing couple must carefully examine when preparing for their independent futures. Asset division will likely accompany spousal support, child support and parenting time as the couple negotiates the complete financial picture. Unfortunately, there are certain factors that can make property division more complicated than originally thought.
Three common examples of challenging property can include:
- Digital assets: Individuals increasingly rely on their online properties. From digital movie collections to an online storefront, the divorcing couple must identify, value and divide these intangible assets. Additionally, the couple might have to share online consumer rewards such as gift cards, cash-back bonuses or airline miles gained over the course of the marriage.
- Family business: It is not uncommon for a married couple to work together to design, develop and grow a business together. Whether they had directly worked together, or one spouse took over a larger share of the household responsibilities freeing up the other spouse to focus on the business, they are both responsible for the success of the organization. In general, the family business can be sold so the parties can split the profits, one spouse buys out the other or they continue to run the business together after the divorce.
- Debt responsibility: Debt is a reality in every marriage. From student loans and medical bills to shared credit cards and a car loan with both spouse’s names on it, the divorcing couple must carefully look at various debts so they can be equitably divided. It is wise that the couple attempts to close as much debt as possible prior to the divorce. This can include closing joint credit cards and paying off personal loans.
Additionally, the full financial picture during property division could include intangible assets such as deferred compensation, bonuses and retirement accounts. The divorcing couple must take the time to thoroughly examine their marital assets and debts to gain a clear picture of how property must be divided.