Who Gets the House in a Divorce? 9 Tips for Dividing Assets
There were almost 800,000 divorces in 2018, which means you likely know someone who has had this experience. Going through a divorce is a difficult process in many ways. But one of the most frustrating and draining parts is dividing up the family’s assets. There’s no one set way to handle this as every family is unique. Luckily, there are things you can do to make the whole process less painful. If you’re wondering who gets the house in a divorce and working through that, check out our top tips to guide you through to quick resolution.
1. Start With a Lawyer
Even if your divorce proceedings are going smoothly and everything is civil, you still want to work with a lawyer.
The main reason you want to work with a lawyer is that the regulations and requirements for a successful divorce can be quite technical. Certain tasks have to be done in the right order for everything to be approved by the judge.
For the layperson, it can all be very confusing and difficult to keep track of. But working with a divorce attorney in TX that is fully trained and knows exactly what to do can help.
2. Make a Full Inventory
When people begin working with a divorce lawyer in TX to end their marriage, they’ll likely be told to make a list of their assets.
This sounds like a very easy, straightforward task. But it’s often done incorrectly by those involved, which can slow down the settlement process significantly. The common mistake is not listing everything in one place.
There are very common assets most people have; cars, homes, bank accounts. Those don’t cover the whole range of assets in most families.
Don’t forget to include things like retirement funds or investment portfolios.
3. Check Local Laws
While the end result of all divorces is the same, the laws regarding separation and dissolution of marriages are different in every state.
Some require certain things to be done before the judge will sign-off on the divorce. This could be a specified time period of waiting or specific paperwork completed and turned in.
Occasionally, a state has very specific regulations for how assets are to be split up. It’s important to understand how things are going to work before you start the process with realistic expectations.
4. Evaluate the Price of Each Item
The courts will need an official statement of how much the divided assets are worth before things can be divided up.
In order to get this task done, you may need to schedule an appraiser to come and give you the actual number. This is certainly the case for homes, cars, or businesses. Other assets may just require you to get signed documents from the bank or account holder.
Generally, there is a set price that the courts will work with; anything below that won’t be considered in the proceedings.
5. Follow the Prenuptial Agreement
Of course, it’s important to remember if there was a prenuptial agreement made or not. This will determine how the whole division of assets will go.
A prenuptial agreement outlines who will get what in the case of a divorce before the marriage even begins. Both parties have to agree to it, so you’ll know if you have one or not.
But there may be additional assets that were not present when the agreement was signed. Those will be dealt with outside as usual.
6. Start with the Largest Value
There’s no right or wrong way to work through your list of assets as you’re dividing things up. But a lot of lawyers find it most helpful to work from the asset with the highest value down to the asset with the lowest.
This gives you a systematic way to evaluate who is getting what. But it also helps to keep emotions under control and things as civilized as possible.
Getting the highest-stakes decisions out of the way first allows you to work much quicker.
7. Decide on Priorities
Unfortunately, when you get a divorce, the chances are that you won’t get to keep everything from your previous life. So it’s important to set your priorities in terms of what is most critical for you to keep and what isn’t as important.
If you go into the negotiations with the few things in mind that you absolutely have to come away with, it’ll help you to not get distracted.
That list of priorities will keep you focused and give you some bargaining power.
8. Don’t Expect Full Equity
Most people are working towards an equal split of assets in a divorce. But a perfectly equal 50/50 split isn’t generally possible.
When you go into the negations, remembering that fact can make a big difference in how easily things go. Instead of being frustrated by the exact amounts, you can be pleased when you get things that mean more to you than others.
Unrealistic expectations can lead to a lot of arguments and disappointments in a divorce. Tying to keep those expectations in check will be a great benefit to your mental health.
9. Stay Calm and Considerate
Divorce isn’t a fun process to go through, it’s sad, emotional, and stressful. But it’s important to try to stay as calm as possible throughout meetings.
This calm atmosphere will help everyone to keep more level heads and work through the problems logically, finding the best outcome for everyone. But when emotions run too high and things get out of control, it’s more likely to drag on.
The best results come from logical discussions without added emotions.
Deciding Who Gets the House in a Divorce
It can be so draining and time-consuming to work through who gets the house in a divorce (not to mention all of the other assets and belongings).
Having a solid game plan ahead of any negations and meetings will help you feel more confident in your abilities to work through the division process. This will allow you to move through as quickly and efficiently as possible to be able to move on entirely.
If you’re going through a divorce and are looking for legal counsel, contact us today!