George Levett, Stirling Ackroyd Legal, International Law Firm
The thought of splitting your assets during a divorce can seem very daunting. In addition to the natural stress that is associated with divorce and deciding child custody rights, the process can seem even more overwhelming. To keep you sane through this there are loads of great resources online to keep you organised and on top of things.
When looking at your financials…
There is a strong need for you to make a list of all your tangible and intangible assets. This essentially means that you should list all your keepsakes, loans, copyrights and collections. Knowing what’s at stake will help you make an informed decision. For example, you may have overlooked certain assets during your marriage and considered them to be of little value but making a list can help you identify them and their importance.
To help you make the best decision and decide how you want to go about splitting your marital assets, it’s important you speak to an experienced lawyer so that you know all your options and how best to protect yourself.
These simple steps should make it easier for you to think about your divorce with a clear and focused head.
The Family Home
The main thing you may be concerned with is deciding how to split the family home. Most likely, this is your most valuable asset so it will be of high priority to you both.
Speak to your partner. There was a time where you and your partner were civil and could reach a mutual decision. Don’t put off reaching out to your partner in order to decide what should happen next. Remember that arguments over the mortgage and who is entitled to the furniture are relatively normal, as long as you can come to an agreement over it.
If you find that you can’t reach a mutual decision, your next move is probably to speak to a lawyer.
How to split the home
Different countries have different ways of going about this. England is known as the best country for divorce law because assets are split 50-50. However, you might not think that this is fair and in other countries, it’s possible that you may be able to retain more than just half of your assets depending on factors such as your financial status, age and health in comparison to your ex-partner, which is known as equitable distribution.
Your lawyer will help you through the legal minefield and make sure your interests are put first. The stakes are high, especially when considering a valuable asset like a house, meaning it’s really important for you to choose the right lawyer.
Contacting a realtor can also help you assess the value of your home, as this allows both you and your ex-partner to make the best possible decision. Your options are quite open as you can sell your home, give it away and perhaps even claim it, depending on your particular situation.
Did you know that in some countries, your ex-partner may be entitled to half your business? This doesn’t sound particularly appealing so it’s worth knowing how to protect yourself and keep calm if you stand to lose half your business.
What to do with a family business
A family business can be difficult to separate, especially if it has been run by you and your ex-partner. Most likely, your ex will probably come after it. Your protection can be found through a good lawyer who can find ways for you to retain your business, or a larger share if that’s what you want.
Issues are likely to arise if you and your ex-partner haven’t explicitly outlined your roles. Even if you did agree on job titles, they will need to be explained during the divorce since your ex-partner may try to minimise the duties of your role.
If the relationship between you and your ex is still amiable, there is a chance that you would be able to retain your business and keep your wealth. You could try co-owning the business with your ex. If your relationship ended on good terms, you’re in a good position as you won’t have to go through the hassle of fighting your ex in court.
You can opt to buy your partner’s share if you really want to keep the business to yourself, although you may have to be willing to give up properties or a large sum of cash in order to appease your partner’s demands. Having a good lawyer is necessary to ensure that you’re not being manipulated into giving up more than your ex-partner is actually entitled to.
If you find that you’re put off your business or can’t see yourself working with your ex, then you could offer to sell your share for a price. You’ll be giving yourself a fresh start and a clean break from your ex-partner, which is great especially if you left the relationship on bad terms.
If you both decide to sell and move on to newer ventures, you should know that the amount of money made from the sale can be less than expected, since the value of your business can depend on trends in the market. With a good lawyer by your side, you can find out the optimum time for you and your ex-partner to sell the business in order to make the most money.
There is no doubt that divorce can lead to confusion, anger and stress. We know that when it comes to dividing your assets, the conversation with your ex can be very heated but your greatest advantage is through a good lawyer. Knowing your legal rights and researching what you are entitled to can minimize the financial impact on yourself and make divorce a smoother and more efficient journey towards a new start.
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