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How well do you know your assets before divorce?

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2024 | Divorce

Imagine walking out of a divorce court thinking you have secured the assets you are entitled to, only to discover later on that your former spouse has been hiding assets from you the entire time. While this scenario may sound like a plot twist from a courtroom drama, this is an unfortunate reality many people face.

Marital assets division is often the most contentious and complex aspect of a divorce, and yet, it is an area where many people find themselves unprepared. But what exactly do you need to prepare when going through a divorce?

Step 1: Gather financial documents

Before you begin dividing your marital assets, you must first know what you have. Start by collecting your financial paperwork. This includes bank statements, tax returns, investment records, insurance policies, mortgage documents and credit card statements. These will provide a clear picture of your financial landscape and help you identify potential issues or discrepancies.

Step 2: List all assets

Once you have gathered all the necessary financial documents, it is time to create a comprehensive list of your marital assets. This includes your home, vehicles, furniture, jewelry, savings accounts, investments and retirement funds. Also, do not forget about less apparent assets like business interests or valuable collectibles. Being thorough here helps ensure a fair property division and prevents disputes later on.

Step 3: Identify and value debts

Debts are just as significant as assets in divorce. Make a list of all your shared debts, including mortgages, car loans, credit card balances and personal loans. Understanding your debt loan is crucial for negotiating a fair settlement.

When preparing for your divorce, it is important to note that Tennessee is an equitable distribution state. This means the court will divide your shared assets fairly and reasonably, but not necessarily equally. Factors like the length of your marriage, your and your spouse’s financial situation and contributions to the marriage can influence the division of your assets. Having a clear understanding of these factors can help you set realistic expectations and effectively prepare for negotiation.

Without a clear picture of your shared wealth, you might find yourself negotiating in the dark. Knowing what you and your spouse own together could mean the difference between a fair settlement and financial regret. 

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