"Who gets the house?" "Who will keep the car?" "How will we divide the business?" These are all questions that are common in many divorces, especially high-asset divorces. When you are going through this type of divorce, you should prepare for the property division process, because it likely won't be easy.
Here are four things to know about property division during divorce:
1) Property valuation is dated
In Tennessee, property valuation in a divorce has to abide by the terms of state statutes. One that is particularly interesting is that the value of the property has to be determined as close to the date of the finalization of the divorce as possible. Because the value of some types of property can fluctuate based on many factors, determining the value in this manner might prove to be a challenge. However, it isn't impossible.
2) Value of the property isn't the whole story
The value of the property you have amassed is important, but it isn't the only thing you need to think about. Some types of property have expenses associated with them that you might want to consider. Homes, for example, might have a mortgage that must be paid. In this case, you would have to think about the value of the property compared to what is still owed on the property. They may also have insurance premiums, maintenance costs, repair costs, and other expenses that will have to be paid. When you think about all of this, you might realize that an asset you thought keeping was in your best interest actually wasn't.
3) Your credit score can be affected
When you are going through the property division process, you have to divide assets and debts. Even though your divorce settlement will specify which spouse is responsible for which debts, the creditors don't have to abide by the order. This is because divorce orders are civil matters. Because creditors aren't a party in the divorce, they aren't required to abide by the terms. This means that if your ex is responsible to pay for specific debts and doesn't, it can still affect your credit score if your name is on the account.
4) Protect yourself
The most important thing that you can do when you are going through a divorce that involves having to divide property is to keep a clear head as you work on trying to divide the property. You shouldn't let your emotions control what you do during negotiations. Instead, think of the pros and cons on each possible agreement to determine if the good outweighs the bad. If the answer is that the good is winning, you might need to consider the arrangement to determine if you are comfortable accepting it. Once you accept a divorce settlement and it is finalized, you typically can't do anything to change things without mounting a lengthy and costly court battle. However, an experienced family law attorney can help you make modifications to your divorce decree and fight for your best interests, even after a divorce is final.