In the divorce process, the courts will help you decide how your assets and debts will be divided. Everything you own will be separated into two categories: real property, such as your house, and personal property, such as cars and furniture. This is called a “property division order.” One of the most important things to know when you are dividing your assets is whether or not you live in “community property” or an “equitable distribution” state.
In either scheme, there are a number of factors and variables that effect the division of property. These are usually set out in the various states’ divorce laws. So, if you are involved in a divorce, it is critical that you understand the property division laws in your state and the court decisions interpreting those laws or consult with an experienced attorney.
One thing that you may not realize is that separate property can become community property through commingling. This is when separate property is mixed together with community property in such a way that you can’t tell the difference between the separate property and the community property. Commingling may occur when money is given to one of the spouses and is deposited into an account that is jointly owned by both of the spouses and is then used to buy community property, like home furnishings.
Creating a Property Inventory
When you are getting ready to divide your assets it is a good idea to create a property inventory. You’ll want to make a complete list of all of your property that belongs to both you and your spouse. Do not hide your assets, because anything that is left out of the property settlement will have to be dealt with later.
There are also assets that you may not realize that you will have to divide such as:
- Pension and retirement accounts
- Stocks and bonds
- Certificates of deposit
- Money market accounts
- Items from your safety deposit box
Contact An Experienced Law Representative
If you have any further questions about assets that will be divided during your divorce or are in need of legal advice or representation, call (315)488-5544 or contact the Bombardo Law Office, P.C.