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Divorce and the Division of Property


Divorce is a process that brings a lot of pain for both partners in the relationship. The pain can stem from emotional hurts, child rights, to division of property. A majority of the time, property division is the main reason a divorce procedure moves along sluggishly. Couples should realize that division of property has its own set of rules that may complicate the process.

Choosing of Representative

You can, in fact, proceed with a divorce without hiring a lawyer. However, the typical citizen, does not have ample knowledge of the law. In cases where there is sufficient property of concern, it is a wise decision to hire a lawyer that specializes in divorce. This way, you will increase the probability that your property will be divided fairly.

Pre-Nuptial Agreement

Some divorce judges decide on your property division results on your pre-nuptial agreement. If you and your partner have properly drawn a clear cut agreement pre nuptial, then the judge will heavily base the decision on this paper. Consult this agreement first before setting up your own divorce conditions.

State Regulation

Keep in mind that a divorce is bound by state law. Each state has different divorce laws than the other. One state's law might require an equal division of all properties acquired during the marriage. Community Property Law, in some states for example, require that all property of value that was shared during the marriage is equally divided upon divorce. It is a wise move to be familiar with these state laws first before filing for divorce.

Judge Decision

The judges of your case will always be pro-equitable division of property. At the time of divorce agreement, the judge will approve whatever is in the agreement of both parties. In this light, constant communication and cooperation between the couple is very important. Indecision impedes the case. You can always let the judge decide on the property division but the outcome will not always favor your side. If the judge sees that your joint bank account has just the same value as property possessed by the other party, the judge might simply reward the property to one party and then the bank account to the other. This might not be the result you are expecting so a private agreement between the two of you is the best practice.

Differences in wage earnings will also have weight in the court's decision about how property is to be divided.

Pre-marriage Property

All properties acquired before marriage usually goes to whoever bought that property. If the house is owned by one party and there is no agreement that the property is a conjoined account, then the property goes to the original owner. As long as there are no agreements and terms that would question the ownership, the original owner gets it. Couples who reside in Community Property states should check with an attorney regarding property that was owned prior to the marriage but shared during it.

Prevent Fraud

Fraud is prevalent in divorce cases. At this point, you might be emotionally attached to a certain property or account and do not want to give it to the other party. This is a normal reaction but be warned that it is illegal to withhold a property during the case proceedings and it may result in the court not giving the assets and earnings to you. Skilled lawyers can trace your records and use fraud in the court against you.

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