Going through the waves of a divorce can create tension between you and your former spouse. Splitting your assets will be one of the most exhausting parts of your divorce. You and your former spouse must collaborate to divide the house, vehicles, securities, valuable collectibles, retirements, and household items—all before your divorce can officially be granted. Not to mention, the ways in which these items of value are divided must be satisfactory to both parties. Utah law requires an equitable division of property. This means that assets and earnings that were accumulated during marriage must be divided equitably, but not necessarily fairly.
Make a List
The first course of action that you and your former spouse need to take during the pending divorce is to create a complete list of assets. Gather with your former spouse and compile a shared list for dividing assets that is honest and fair to you both. Some of the items that must be included in this list are the home that you and your former spouse shared, land that is joint property such as vacation homes and lake cabins, cars, bank accounts (which include full balances), securities, valuables such as restored vehicles or antique collections, household items such as appliances and furniture, and retirement plans. Other items include other recreational vehicles and boats.
Property Distribution in Utah
Judges in Utah use discretion to consider factors unique to each marriage, rather than relying on a one-size-fits-all hard set of rules for property division. Courts consider the length of the marriage, as well as how each spouse acquired their marital property. Each spouse’s education level, as well as their future earning potential, are considered. Judges also look at how life will be for each spouse after a divorce, and they take into account medical needs and childcare costs. Due to all these components, judges might divide property unequally. If you and your former spouse signed a premarital agreement, it will be looked into and impact the distribution of personal property, earnings, and retirement benefits. In contrast, a premarital agreement cannot govern a child’s healthcare, childcare expenses, or child support.
Dividing the House and Cars
Major areas of contention when splitting assets for a divorce are deciding who gets to keep the house and the car. If you and your former spouse have children together, judges will usually grant the house to the parent with primary custody of the children. Contrary to popular belief, vehicles and other expensive property are not guaranteed to go to the spouse who holds the sole title of these items. Make sure that you know the current value of the vehicle that is being disputed over. You don’t want to waste your time and energy on an item that is no longer worth the same monetary amount that it was once worth when you and your former spouse first purchased it.
In an ideal world, you and your former spouse would be able to divide the assets in a smooth, peaceful manner. However, we know how difficult it might be to civilly communicate with your former spouse. Contact our experienced divorce attorneys at the Ault Firm today and we will help you successfully get through your divorce.