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A property division checklist can provide structure

Are you standing face-to-face with divorce? Do you have concerns about property division — more specifically your ability to obtain the assets that you have a right to?

There are many challenges associated with divorce, and many people immediately get worried about property and debt division. While it's only natural to feel this way, there are steps you can take to ease your tension and feel better about your unencumbered future.

The tricky part about property division is that you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse probably have the same plan in mind — secure as many assets as possible.

To start, you must realize that you're not going to obtain every asset. However, there are steps you can take to enhance your negotiations and reach a satisfactory compromise.

One thing that you can do is create a property division checklist, as this gives you the structure you require to better understand your situation. Here are the four primary categories to include in your checklist, along with some common assets:

  • Real property - The family home, vacation and rental properties, undeveloped land and business property.
  • Personal property - Artwork, china, collections, rugs, clothing, guns, computers, electronics, home office equipment, motor vehicles and boats.
  • Financial assets - Bank and retirement accounts, cash on-hand, pensions, profit sharing, stocks and bonds, certificates of deposit, life insurance policy cash values, annuities and trusts.
  • Business assets - Partnerships, sole proprietorships, business properties and any other business interests.

As you focus on including these assets in your property division checklist, you should also pay close attention to any debts you hold with the other person. These must also be dealt with during the divorce process. Some of the most common include:

  • Mortgages
  • Car loans
  • Credit card debst
  • Personal loans
  • Business loans
  • Home equity loans or lines of credit

If you don't take these debts into consideration, they could sneak up on you at some point. It's easy to focus all your attention on assets, thus overlooking that debt division is also a big part of a divorce.

Don't wait a single day to create a property division checklist, as you need this in place to guide you. As your divorce progresses, all this information will help you protect your legal rights and fight for what is yours.

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