Three tips to split property in a divorce
Written by Michelle Ogborne

Three tips to split property in a divorce

When the time comes to split property in a divorce, couples may find themselves arguing over the little things. Tension can rise quickly, especially when there are significant assets. Homes, cars, RVs and vacation property can have sweet memories attached to them. Savings accounts, retirement accounts and investments may be less sentimental, but still very valuable.

Arizona is a community property state. This sounds simple; however, it’s not always easy to decide who gets what assets. Collaborative divorce focuses on finding resolutions outside of the traditional courtroom setting. This gives you, your partner and your attorney the opportunity to decide how property will be split. The following tips may help you sort things out during, and after, your divorce.

1. Compromise

Katy and James each want sole custody (which includes making legal decisions for your children and how the time with the children is shared between the parents) of their two-year-old daughter. Katy’s six-figure job involves a lot of travel. James works part-time and is the full-time child caregiver. Not only does he want full custody, he also wants spousal support.

Their arguments intensified until they sought help from a collaborative divorce professional. With communication coaching, they agreed to joint custody with James being the primary residential parent. Katy agreed to provide spousal support for five years. During that time, James would pursue an online degree. When their daughter entered elementary school, James would have the opportunity to begin working full-time.

Decisions about child custody will affect your family forever. Collaborative divorce helped Katy and James focus on their daughter first. Their new communication skills led them to a decision that was right for their family, regardless of what each parent wanted.

2. Pick Your Battles

Matt’s grandmother gave the couple a set of century-old flatware on their first anniversary. Over the years, Amanda was the one who cleaned and cared for the heirloom. Matt suggested they “get rid of it” several times throughout the marriage. During the divorce, they learned of the value of the flatware. Now both couples want it.

One way to pick your battles is by making a list of all your assets. Mark the items that you really want. Referring to this list during your divorce can help you compromise.

Setting your sights on the “big picture” can also help you have a clear perspective. You can exhaust every possible argument about why that lamp or figurine should be yours. Someday you may realize it was a waste of time and energy. Instead of focusing on yourselves, discuss items you want your children to inherit. When you deal with your property by focusing on what’s “theirs,” you realize you are simply keepers of many items. Your kids are the owners.

3. Make Informed Decisions

You wouldn’t buy a refrigerator without research. You’d check price, performance, longevity and more. Although you may be in a hurry to get your divorce over with, taking the time to gather information about the process is very beneficial. Having all the facts will make it easier to split property in a divorce. Working with a group of professionals can help you make informed legal decisions, acquire better communication skills and learn more about the financial impacts of your decisions.

Split Property Without Splitting Hairs

The decisions you make when you split property in a divorce aren’t carved in stone. If both partners are willing to work together, it is possible to make changes to the agreement. When you choose collaborative divorce, you can work toward reasonable, fair outcomes for both of you.

With the collaborative process, you drive the divorce. You won’t need a judge to make decisions for you, because together you lay a foundation for the future. Contact Best Legal Choices to learn more about how to split property in a divorce.