Though the decision to divorce isn’t likely an easy one to make, figuring out how to make life work post divorce can be even harder. Being prepared for life after divorce often starts with deciding how to divide marital assets and debts. For some Utah couples, this is easy to figure out, but for others, money and property matters can lead to fights and lengthy litigation.

It is pretty safe to say that most couples would like to leave their marriages with a fair and equitable settlement. Unfortunately, each individual’s idea of fair may be different. Before any decisions can be made, it is important to make a list of all valuable property, assets and debts and include if those items are separate or marital property. Putting it all down on paper accomplishes a few things; first and foremost, compiling all this information into one document puts it in one place that is easy to read and understand, and second, it allows both spouses to make sure all assets and/or debts are accounted for.

When it comes to assets, two of the biggest considerations are the marital home and retirement accounts. If children are involved, the custodial parent may desire to keep the home in lieu of taking their portion of a retirement fund. This may be an option; however, depending on post divorce finances, it may make more sense to simply sell the home, split the proceeds and divide retirement accounts.

Utah couples who are faced with dividing marital property or debts are granted certain legal rights under state laws and would likely benefit from understanding those rights before accepting any terms of property division. A variety of options may be available when it comes to dividing marital assets and debts, which would produce a settlement with which both parties can feel satisfied. At the end of the day, only the couple — or judge if necessary — can decide what is fair or equitable under the circumstances.

Source: CBS Boston, “Dividing Assets Or Debt During Divorce“, Dee Lee, Aug. 19, 2014

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