Even a short marriage can lead to the accumulation of both assets and debts. Both partners in a relationship bring financial goals, needs and desires. Unfortunately, when divorce becomes a reality, the partners must work to ensure things are split accurately and fairly.
Whether an item has sentimental value or offers a true financial benefit, a divorcing couple will likely have to discuss how it is divided. From the operation of a family-run business to a shared collection of books, debates can be emotionally charged. In a marriage that has lasted decades, the division of property and debt can be a complex matter. The term property can include:
- Bank accounts
- Furniture, books and other collections
Many couples have also purchased investment or income properties. These can include:
- Commercial buildings
- Apartment complexes
- Retail property
It is not uncommon for couples to choose to organize their property with a prenuptial agreement prior to their wedding. This document is used to clarify the property and debts that each partner is bringing into the relationship. From real estate to retirement accounts, a prenuptial agreement can ease the severity of disputes in a divorce.
Likewise, after the wedding, the couple can create and modify a postnuptial agreement to record any new property or debts acquired over the course of the wedding. Again, the presence of a comprehensive marital agreement can mean the difference between heated disputes and smooth negotiations centered on the division of property and debts.
It is important to discuss your unique situation with an experienced family law lawyer who can provide the guidance and answer any questions you might have.