Negotiating Divorce and Asset Distribution

The best way to negotiate divorce and asset distribution requires that a couple negotiate calmly.

The Best Way to Negotiate Divorce and Asset Distribution

The best way to negotiate divorce and asset distribution requires that a couple negotiate calmly. Divorce is often contentious. A case proceeds more smoothly when the couple avoids anger and accusations. One-sided, or contested divorces often result in the other party acting hateful, bitter, and spiteful. They refuse to negotiate and insist on taking everything without compromise. This causes a long, drawn-out divorce without distribution of assets. For a completely broken marriage, things move along more quickly if you behave calmly and respectfully to one another.

Work with a Mediator

Once you decide to divorce, a mediator can help you find mutually agreeable terms for dividing marital assets. You must complete an asset valuation before determining distribution. While your lawyer could handle this part of your divorce, a mediator simplifies the process. The parties all meet in one place, rather than lawyers for both sides bouncing back and forth with counter offers. Mediators also charge less than divorce lawyers. They generally handle much of the preliminary negotiation before filing the divorce and valuing assets.

Always seek a divorce lawyer’s advice once you decide to divorce. You and your spouse must determine which assets you owned before the marriage, and those owned prior to the divorce. In a community property state, most of this is irrelevant. The court considers all marital property to be owned equally by both. In other states, the court distributes all assets equitably—though not always equally. The court may base distribution on the net worth of each party and their ability to support themselves after divorce. In cases involving children, some states require divorcing parents to attend counseling before they can file. Both parties must then think of their children’s well-being when coming to agreement regarding the valuation and division of assets.

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