Part of your decision to divorce will eventually produce a conversation, if not a fight over who gets what. This blog will support you in dividing assets respectfully even if you didn’t know you could. Well, you can! And here’s how…
Who Gets What
Did you have a prenuptial agreement before you got married? Prenuptial agreements are documents that outline how assets are divided in the event of a divorce? If not, you will discuss each specific asset and debt to be considered in your mediation.
Dividing assets is not difficult and mostly depends on your level of emotional attachment to physical items. When people are angry and bitter over a marriage ending, and the cause, this can be more difficult. You may be feeling you want to kick your ex to the cub with nothing! In Mediation, that will NOT happen! This process requires the input of both parties.
Mediation is a fair and honorable process that allows couples dividing assets respectfully to split assets and physical property through a meaningful dialogue and negotiation. Most clients report that they would still be married if they had these skills for communication. In mediation, both parties are listened to and all opinions valued.
Click here to learn how to divvy up your assets in a conscious and respectful way, according to the Huffington Post.
How Do Assets and Debts Get Divided
Assets and debts are divided differently in every divorce mediation agreement. As a standard, in the state of Florida, people initially get to take with them anything that they had before marriage. In most cases this includes big ticket items such as houses, cars, boats, and vacation clubs. The remainder of the assets can be approached from the standpoint of:
“who needs something” – such as a house for children to be raised in,
“who wants something” – such as items gifted at the time of the marriage, and
“who deserves something” – such as a portion of an IRA or savings
Dividing assets (and debts) respectfully requires both parties remain open minded and committed to reaching a settlement that both can live with. This means that both parties will win and/or lose some parts of what they initially want. In mediation, both parties have the right to openly discuss their point of view, ask for what they want, and then negotiate.
Some items are specified by law who they will go to. Items that are “up for grabs” can include personal property such as homes other than the main domicile, a vehicle used primarily by one person or the other, items purchased during the marriage including the contents of a home or homes, and financial assets such as cash on hand, retirement accounts, and other investments, or businesses.
In most cases, a settlement is able to be reached in mediation without either side needing/wanting a lawyer. However, in cases where assets are large, parties are welcome (or may prefer) to have attorneys present at mediation or call upon the help of financial analysts or forensic accountants. Any professional that is included in the mediation must be approved by both parties, in order to participate. Using a lawyer in mediation might be right for you. Mediation will provide the space for you to avoid a courtroom battle, even if you use an attorney in your negotiation process. A lawyer will provide you with information specific to the law. A mediator will provide you with skillful negotiating support and proper documentation for your Marital Settlement Agreement.
Agreement and Disbursement
Any agreements made between the parties are drawn up for review and if acceptable to both sides, will be included in a Marital Settlement Agreement provided by the mediator at the time of meeting. If there are matters that are not completed in a single meeting with the mediator, an agreement is made for the settled items only, and another meeting scheduled to look at other outstanding items that need more discussion or consideration.
Having a plan ahead of time for dividing assets respectfully makes the process a lot easier. If that is not the case, mediation can offer a great solution for dividing marital assets in a way that feels good to both parties, and allows them to move on in their lives in a new agreement that works for all involved.
If you or someone you know is stressed or upset about how they will divide their assets, call us for a complimentary consultation so that we can help.
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