Divorce Guide: Listing Your Assets
Everything that you or your spouse acquire during your marriage is community property, meaning that, by law, it belongs to both of you. It doesn’t matter who purchased it or with what money, and it doesn’t matter if you had an understanding that it would belong to only one of you. The law treats it as belonging to both of you. In some cases, even items that you bring into the marriage can be considered community property, such as a house you purchased before you were married.
When you decide to divorce around Arizona, you will need to meet with a divorce attorney to start talking about how you are going to divide those assets. If you don’t have a clear plan, you run the risk of letting your spouse take advantage of you and leave with more of the assets – including assets that you deserved to keep.
Identifying Your Assets
Before you head to the meeting with your divorce lawyer, you should start making a list yourself of your assets. Start thinking about all the things you own, such as your house or car, as well as things that are of value, such as high-end jewelry or savings accounts.
Some potential assets that you may list (assets that are either in your name or possession or your spouse’s):
Making a list of these assets may seem like a simple job, but for many, it is not. Many people are not highly organized, and they may not have the details for these assets – some may have even forgotten they have certain assets, like that one 401(k) plan from their first job that they never rolled over. Or they may remember the asset but don’t remember how much is in the account. Or they may not know the appropriate value, especially if it’s a collectible item like art or an antique.
You may need to work with a professional to gather all the information about your assets or to get their appropriate value.
A financial planner or accountant can help you go through your assets, especially things like real estate or stocks. They can help you put together a comprehensive list of your assets, as well as help you get an appropriate value based on the current market.
An appraiser can help you put a value on things if you have items like jewelry, art, or other collectibles. If you have real estate, you may also need a professional appraisal to get an appropriate value.
Discovering Hidden Assets
If you suspect that your spouse has additional assets, you will need to work with a divorce attorney and others to discover them. Just because your spouse put assets in his or her own name or kept them from you does not mean that you don’t have a right to them. Those assets were purchased with marital assets, and you are entitled to your share of them.
A good divorce lawyer through the Valley can help you discover hidden assets with the help you find all your marital assets, including those your spouse has taken great pains to hide from you. Talk with your attorney about your suspicions and then determine a strategy for bringing all those assets to light.
Always work closely with an experienced divorce attorney to determine all your assets, including those that your spouse may have hidden, and to come up with a strategy for getting the best share of assets possible. An attorney will fight for your rights and help you leave the marriage with more than you would likely get trying to negotiate on your own.
Call My AZ Lawyers to talk to a Phoenix divorce lawyer about your options today. Our attorneys are committed to helping you get the best divorce settlement they can so that you can start your new life as easily as possible. We also have child custody lawyers and family law lawyers on our team who can help you with other matters related to your divorce, such as child custody and support. We serve clients throughout the Phoenix area, including in Tucson, Glendale, and Mesa. Call us today to consult with a divorce attorney about your next steps.
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