Going through a divorce is guaranteed to change your life in many ways. One example is property division, as it's likely that you'll have to split some or all of your assets with your soon-to-be ex-spouse.

Depending on your situation, you may find that matters of property division are so complicated that you don't know where to start. Rather than hope for the best, it's important to get organized and remain organized from start to finish.

Creating a property division checklist is a good idea, as this helps you outline all of your assets. Your checklist can include assets that you brought into the marriage, as well as those that you purchased with your spouse.

Here are the four categories of a property division checklist and some of the items to include in each:

  • Real property: Family home, vacation property, rental property, undeveloped land and commercial or business property.
  • Personal property: Furniture, electronics, collections of any type, china, crystal, clothing, jewelry, artwork, guns, home office equipment, motor vehicles, boats and campers.
  • Financial assets: Cash, bank accounts, retirement accounts, educational accounts, pensions, profit sharing, mutual funds, stocks and bonds, annuities and trusts.
  • Business assets: Office equipment, commercial property, professional practice and partnerships.

A property division checklist is meant to help with organization, all so you don't overlook anything when negotiating with the other individual. Without this, it's possible you could forget something of importance. It's also more likely that the other person will hide something from the court.

Debt is important, too

As important as it is to create a property division checklist, you should also do the same for any debts you're carrying. This can include things such as: mortgage, car loans, personal loans and credit card debt.

Often, debt will get in the way of property division, such as when attempting to decide who will stay in the family home. Assets and debts deserve equal attention when going through a divorce.

There are many challenges associated with divorce, and property division will always be a sticking point. There is no way to completely eliminate disagreements, but using a checklist and knowing your legal rights can help you push through the process as efficiently and quickly as possible.

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