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Divorce Property Settlement & Divorce Agreements



How to Get a Divorce Property Settlement

Divorce agreements covering how to fairly divide all of the property that is in the possession of the couple are a central issue in any divorce is. One of the realities that complicates this situation is the fact that each state has its own set of laws surrounding how these divorce settlement divisions ought to be handled. Some jurisdictions offer mediation and have a divorce worksheet created according to legal guidelines. People have been known to go so far as to fight in court over which state most properly has jurisdiction over a divorce, in an effort to gain an advantage in the way the final settlement is handled. It is a good idea, therefore, to understand the basics before you start working on a property settlement or marital settlement agreement.

There are nine states which use a system known as community property in order to divide assets. This system makes the assumption that all of the property gained within the marriage belongs equally to both partners in the event of a divorce. The law does make allowances, though, for what is known as separate property or non-marital property. This includes things that were gained prior to the marriage, such as properties, businesses, and pensions that had vested before the marriage became legal. It also includes inheritances and gifts from family members, providing that those things were never co-mingled with the joint property during the marriage.

The majority of the states, on the other hand, go with a system that is known as equitable distribution. This is an effort to design a settlement that is fair to both parties, without necessarily needing to be an equal split. It can take account of things like the financial prospects of each partner, child support expenses related to the children, the health of the couple, the length of the marriage, and where assets originated. In this type of state, people who were married for a year and maintained similarly lucrative careers would likely be treated differently than a couple in which one spouse acted as the keeper of the home throughout a decades-long marriage while the other focused on making money.

The couple getting divorced always has the right to come up with their own divorce property settlement if they wish. The legal guidelines for settlement only apply when an agreement is impossible and the court must intervene. It is generally better to attempt to come to a reasonable agreement outside of the courtroom, because this greatly reduces the legal expenses involved and means that both parties are ultimately likely to walk away with more money.


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