If divorcing spouses are unwilling to cooperate with each other, then the distribution of marital property can become a contentious issue. As each side tries its best to secure more assets than the other, a divorce can become an overly drawn-out ordeal that is lengthy and costly to complete.
If you and your spouse are looking to separate, then here are several tips that you can follow aimed at simplifying the process of dividing your property.
1. Hire a Mediator
The first step you can take is to hire a mediator to help decide who gets what. Several states actually have this as a requirement during the divorce process, though California simply recommends the method. A neutral, third-party mediator can help divorcing couples come to a mutually acceptable agreement. Since mediation can settle the majority of disputes much quicker than the courts can, it is highly advisable that you give mediation a chance before heading towards civil litigation.
2. Prioritize What You Want
Don’t fight over small things. While some possessions that you and your spouse own may have sentimental value, it is important that you are able to let some things go in favor of focusing your interests on more vital assets such as homes, vehicles, retirement assets and child custody. Most judges will not be invested in your emotional attachment to certain objects and will see your belongings as nothing more than property. The judge’s decision will ultimately be based on the laws of your state, not personal wishes.
3. Disclose All of Your Assets
Be fair, open and honest with your spouse regarding your assets. Attempting to conceal assets such as secret savings accounts during a divorce is not only illegal, but also will likely cause you to lose whatever you tried to hide. Until the moment you and your spouse are legally divorced, you owe a fiduciary duty to each other to act in an honest and forthright manner throughout the legal process of divorce. If caught, the presiding judge over your case will have more reason to side with your spouse and you may be required to pay their legal fees as punishment.
4. Property Settlements Are Usually Final, So Hire an Attorney for Help
Unlike custody and support orders, property settlements usually cannot be modified. While it is a good idea to compromise, don't go too far by giving away all your assets just to get the divorce over with. Make sure you are receiving your fair share before you sign the papers.
If you are in need of a divorce, our Fresno divorce lawyers from Arnold Law Group, APC can offer you outstanding legal representation and help guide you through the complex legal process. We have helped thousands of clients over the past 30 years and we’re eager to provide compassionate legal counsel for you during your difficult time.To speak with a knowledgeable attorney about your divorce, call (559) 990-1263 today!