Property division not always easy in divorce

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Property Division on Friday, September 21, 2012.

Dividing up property in a divorce can be quite difficult, especially since some things that may seem straight-forward are in fact complicated.

Of course a family law attorney can help sort out the exact details of property division, but here are some tips to keep in mind when thinking about the division of marital property:

The first thing to keep in mind is everything is not worth the same. For example, let’s say there is the decision between the $400,000 home — which is already paid off — and the $400,000 savings account. With the mortgage payments all taken care of, many might be tempted to go for the home. But, on a closer examination of the situation, financially this may not make the most sense.

With a home — even one that is paid off — there are costs associated with maintenance, running the home and taxes. These taxes must be paid every year. Additionally, if the home is sold in the future, the spouse who is the owner may end up stuck with a capital gains tax bill, which could end up being well into the thousands of dollars. Basically, in this type of situation, the advice is to not just discount taking the $400,000 savings account.

During a divorce there’s also the idea of just selling everything and splitting the assets evenly. However, this is not always the best idea as there can be costs and tax implications that can become quite costly.

Lastly, when dividing up property — while it may be hard — it’s best to think financially and not emotionally. This will ensure a person is making the best decision for their future and not the best decision for just right now.

Of course, these tips just graze the surface of the topic of property division in divorce. An Illinois divorce attorney can help to answer questions on a case-by-case basis.

Source: Forbes, “How To Handle Difficult To Divide Assets,” Jeff Landers, Sept. 18, 2012

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