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What are Considered Assets in a Divorce?

what are considered assets in a divorceDivorce is not just an emotional process; it’s also a legal one that involves the division of assets. As a divorce attorney, I often encounter clients who are unsure about what constitutes assets in the context of divorce proceedings.

Let’s demystify the concept of assets and discuss what’s considered fair game when it comes to the division of property in divorce.

Marital vs. Non-Marital Assets

The first distinction to understand is between marital and non-marital assets. Marital assets are generally those acquired during the marriage, regardless of which spouse earned or purchased them. Non-marital assets, on the other hand, are typically those acquired before the marriage, through inheritance or gift, and are often considered separate from the marital estate.

Real Property

Real property includes the family home, vacation properties, and any other real estate owned by the couple. The value of real property is a significant factor in property division negotiations.

Personal Property

Personal property encompasses items such as furniture, electronics, vehicles, and jewelry. When it comes to personal property, it’s essential to differentiate between assets of significant value and those with sentimental value.

Financial Assets

Financial assets include bank accounts, retirement accounts, stocks, bonds, and other investments. The division of financial assets can be complex, requiring careful consideration of tax implications and the potential impact on long-term financial stability.

Business Interests

If one or both spouses own a business, determining the value of the business and how to divide its assets can be a complex process. This often involves the assistance of financial experts or business valuation professionals.

Pensions and Retirement Benefits

Pensions, 401(k) plans, and other retirement benefits acquired during the marriage are considered marital assets. The division of these assets requires careful evaluation to ensure an equitable distribution.

Debts and Liabilities

While not technically assets, debts and liabilities are an integral part of the property division process. Both marital and non-marital debts must be considered, and determining responsibility for these obligations is a crucial aspect of divorce negotiations.

Intellectual Property and Royalties

Intellectual property, including copyrights, patents, and royalties, may also be subject to division in divorce. The value of these assets can be challenging to determine and may require expert assistance.

Social Security Benefits

While Social Security benefits are generally not divisible in divorce, the duration of the marriage can impact a spouse’s eligibility for spousal benefits. Understanding the potential implications of Social Security benefits is essential for divorcing couples, especially in long-term marriages.

Navigating the division of assets in divorce requires a comprehensive understanding of the types of property involved and the applicable laws. Divorce attorneys ensure that your rights are protected. They help you get a fair and equitable distribution of assets in your divorce settlement. If you’re contemplating divorce, seeking legal advice early in the process can help you make informed decisions about your financial future. Remember, every divorce case is unique, and tailoring legal advice to your specific situation is essential for a successful outcome.

If you’d like to discuss your situation with an experienced legal professional or you’d like to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation, contact the Geller Law Firm at (813) 405-1509.

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