Ways to split assets in a collaborative divorce
Written by Michelle N. Ogborne

Ways to split assets in a collaborative divorce

A difficult aspect of any divorce is determining how to split assets between you. After sharing everything during your marriage, this can create some anxiety for both of you. You worry about starting over and how to divide your assets, including your home and vehicles.

The good news is that splitting everything down the middle is only one option. You can find many other paths that can give you ways to move forward. A collaborative divorce attorney can help you examine your choices to make the right decision for you and your spouse.

How a 50/50 Split Works

If you decide to split assets down the middle, or the courts decide this for you, you first account for all of the marital assets. Arizona is a community property state, so any assets you acquired during the marriage count. This includes obvious ones like your home and vehicles. Beyond this, though, it includes retirement accounts, insurance policies, debts, and a host of other accounts and property.

A 50/50 plan to split assets requires you to add up the entire value of your community property. You then find ways to distribute so you each have the same value. Often, this requires selling the largest assets: your house, your business, or other large assets you cannot divide. Doing so might mean you both have to start over.

Understandably, this can be scary. Selling a house means you each need to start over finding a place to live. Selling a business if you didn’t have a prenup can take away a livelihood. For couples with a few large assets that make up the bulk of what they have, it may be devastating.

Other Options to Split Assets

When you split assets in your divorce, you need to separate emotion from the process. This is hard. You may have worked hard to get your house and you struggle with the idea of giving it up. Still, you need to move past some of those feelings to find a fair way for both of you.

One option is for one of you to pay fair value for your portion of some assets. This can allow a business to continue, or one of you to remain in the house. If you have kids or just a lot of personal value in the home, this can help with those emotions. Alternatively, you can agree to divide differently. If one of you makes most of the income, for example, you can split assets in favor of the other to balance it out.

Finding a Fair Path for Both of You

Collaborative divorce can provide tools to help find a fair way to split assets in your divorce. Instead of battling over assets and fighting individually, it focuses on working together toward an agreement. You will work with a neutral financial professional to not only understand the value, but the fairest way to divide what you have.

This process still has you represented by your own attorney. When you work together, though, it gives you a chance and incentive to find common ground. You don’t have to guess what your spouse is thinking or second-guess his or her motives.

Nothing about divorce is easy, and building this communication with your spouse can be difficult. Still, meeting regularly and working with the same financial team can help. In the end, you want something fair to you both that gives you a reasonable path to your future. To discuss how collaborative divorce can help you divide your marital assets, contact Ogborne Law today.