Answer These Questions While Preparing for Asset Division Negotiations

Law Blog

For many divorcing couples, asset division is one of the most controversial stages of the process. Just like other challenging tasks, the more you prepare for asset division negotiation, the more you are likely to ace it. Start your preparation by answering these questions.

Which Assets Did Each of You Bring to the Marriage?

In most jurisdictions, assets earned before the marriage are counted as separate properties, which means they aren't subject to asset division rules. This only applies if the assets have remained separate throughout the marriage and haven't been co-mingled with assets earned during the marriage. Exceptions may apply in some cases in some jurisdictions, so you should seek clarification from a lawyer, like those at Seiler & Parker PC. However, you still need to identify what these pre-marriage assets are before the negotiations begin.

Which Assets Do You Wish to Keep?

You also need to identify the assets you want to keep among the ones you are destined to divide with your spouse. Take a notebook, and go through your lists of assets and write down the ones you really want to keep. If you want to keep the marital home, the family car, or the Persian rugs, put them down on your list. This will help you strategize on how to negotiate for them during the negotiations.

Which Assets Does Your Spouse Wish to Keep?

You should also keep a separate list of items that you know or suspect your partner will be interested in. This is usually easy if you have known your partner for a long time or if you generally know them well. The knowledge will help you in several ways; for example:

  • If there is an overlap between the assets you wish to keep and the ones your partner wishes to keep, you can strategize on how to divert their attention elsewhere.
  • If there are assets your partner wants to keep but they don't interest you, you can use them to negotiate for the items you do wish to keep.

Which Assets Have Third-Party Claims?

It would not be wise to consider asset negotiations without considering other third parties who may have financial claims on the same assets. For example, if you want to keep the house and you don't own it outright, you should factor in the mortgage payments when negotiating to keep the house. Therefore, it's your responsibility to know if any of the assets have outstanding loans or if any of them was used as collateral for a loan; you will need to discuss these during the negotiations, too.


29 May 2018