This article was last updated: Nov. 1st, 2022
Your assets will influence many areas of your divorce. It is important you identify and properly value all of them. You must know what is considered an asset to do this. The legal definition of an asset in a divorce is anything that has a real value. Assets can include tangible items that can be bought and sold such as cars, properties, furniture, or jewelry.
Collectables, art, and memorabilia are frequently over looked assets because their value is often hard to ascertain. Cash balances, stocks, bonds, insurance policies, security deposits, retirement accounts, and investment portfolios are also considered assets. Even assets that cannot be readily liquidated for the value must be included such as patents, businesses, or publishing rights. Assets can also include anything with future value, such as a tax refund or accounts payable.
You and your spouse must disclose all your assets whether you mediate your divorce or take it to court. You will have to itemize them and provide a fair market value in either case. You must include jointly held assets as well as assets you acquired prior to the marriage. The financial statement forms you will fill out will indicate what kind of information you must provide. Speak with a divorce mediator about your case if you still have questions on identifying your assets. A skilled mediator can help you and your spouse identify your assets. You and your spouse can negotiate your asset division once they have all been itemized.
Your assets may influence your child support obligation, your alimony, and the division of your debts as well. A spouse with more assets may be expected to pay more child support or alimony or take on more debt.
You and your spouse may divide your assets on your own if you can agree on it. You can sell certain assets to pay off debt, or one spouse can take the family home in exchange for other assets. This is something your mediator can help you with. The court will divide your assets using the principle of equitable distribution if you cannot agree with your spouse. The court will divide your assets in a way that seems fair, but you will lose some control over the process.
If you have questions about asset division, contact Mediation Advantage Services for expert family law help. Experienced in complex divorce mediation, Law Office of Polly Tatum can help you and your spouse divide your assets in a way that benefits both of you. Based in historic Worcester with a satellite office in Northboro, MA, our firm serves all cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and Worcester County including, Auburn, Paxton, Leicester, Sutton, Grafton, Shrewsbury, Westboro, Northboro, Southboro, Holden, Sterling, Princeton, Worcester, Charlton, Millbury, Dudley, Spencer, Brookfield, Sudbury, Natick, Framingham, Hopkinton, Milford, Blackstone, Leominster, Fitchburg, Acton, Jefferson, Barre, Oakham, Cambridge, Newton, Marlboro, Lancaster, Bolton, and Hudson. Call our office at (508) 466-4734, fill out our online form, or email us at [email protected] today to schedule your Complimentary Mediation Success Planning Session. You can also sign up for our eNewsletter or download our free e-book for more information regarding divorce in Massachusetts.