The division of assets and debts is one of the key issues presented during divorce trials. Due to their inherent nature of sometimes confusing facts and figures, the division of assets and debts is often a confusing, stressful process for the parties and the Court.
However, it doesn’t need to be. Below we’ve compiled some basic information that will help you better understand some of the what, why, and how the presentation of your assets and debts at trial can factor in as to the Court’s determination on these issues.
During divorce trials where assets and debts must be divided, the court will hear evidence presented by the parties in support of their claims. Each party will be required to testify and may be subject to cross-examination.
Division Of Assets
You will need to provide the Court with a list of the assets at issue – the simpler and more clear-cut the better. When determining how or even if an asset will be divided, the court will consider factors including when the asset was acquired (before/after marriage and before/after the initiation of the divorce proceedings), how it is titled, the value of the asset, and how that value was determined.
The Marital Home
The best way to value real estate is to get an appraisal. The equity or interest that the Court is looking to divide is the appraised value minus the mortgage(s) owing on the home. If one party desires to stay and keep the marital home, they may be required to refinance the property to remove the other from any liability on the mortgage as well as to withdraw enough monies to pay the other party their share of the equity or interest in the home. If the home is sold, each party will likely split the remaining proceeds after payment of the mortgage(s) and other obligations against the home, costs of sale, and realtor commissions.
Division Of Debts
When determining who will be responsible for community debts, the court will consider when the debt was incurred (before/after marriage and before/after initiation of divorce proceedings), the nature of the debt (credit cards, mortgage, auto loan, student loans, etc.), and what the monies were used for.
Sometimes assets may be liquidated to pay off community debts during divorce proceedings. For example, if the marital home is to be sold, the Court may order that proceeds of the sale may be used first to pay down community debts before any proceeds are released to the parties.
To learn more about how your assets and debts could be divided in a divorce matter, contact the attorneys at OWENS & PERKINS by calling our office at 480.630.2464 to schedule your FREE 30-minute legal consultation.
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