When facing a divorce, there are many details to work through. One always hopes that the unpleasantness of it all can be moved through swiftly. One of the ways to move through the process quickly is to understand what needs to happen. When you have all the information you can think about dividing assets, it is helpful. Working through the division of all your things can be upsetting, confusing, and difficult.

Equitable distribution is the part of the divorce process that most find challenging to get through. While it would be great if you and your soon to be ex-spouse could work through the separation process’s logistics, it does not always work out that way. That requires you and your spouse to cooperate. Some of the items on the table for consideration when determining the separation of assets include the income, property, and debts of each of you. The length of your marriage makes a difference in who gets how much of each property.

Other considerations include how each spouse contributed to each other’s careers, professional achievements, and educational opportunities. If there are children, the determination of custodial parent and all custody rules impacts the separation. The custodial parent may need the ability to stay in the marital home and need specific items. The marital home is the house you and your spouse bought, lived in, and maintained together. The mental and physical health of you and your spouse impact the separation of property. Tax implications are considered during the division. When separating assets, the concept of what is fair and right for all parties makes an impact.

There are three different types of property for consideration in the event of asset separation. Marital property is income, property, debts, and assets that were gathered during the actual marriage. This includes earnings, retirement and pension accounts, investments, real estate, loans, and mortgages. During most separations, your own property does not get separated this time. This can include debts and assets that you had before your marriage. It can also include any inheritance or gifts that have been given to one spouse but not the other. However, those assets that were once separate can become marital if they are mixed. This can commonly happen during a marriage. If you want to keep it separate, you have to be careful what you do with it.

Sometimes a divorce settlement can take an extended period of time. One or both spouses can acquire property and assets during that time. As long as those items were acquired after the legal date of separation on the documents, they can remain separate. If they are acquired before the legal date of separation, they are still eligible for separation between you and your spouse even if you considered yourself separated. You and your spouse must fill out documents that outline your assets and debts and the value of those assets. The value must be fair and accurate. This is where you begin the conversation about the separation of assets.