Divorce is always a painful process. Splitting property for its cash value is often a difficult end to a relationship that did not work out. Emotions run high, even in an amicable divorce. Being prepared is the best way to ensure both parties receive their fair share of the marital assets and debts. Listing shared properties of value, dividing properties with written evaluations by a neutral party and listing all goals for the divorce mediation are important to avoid costly mistakes.
List All Items of Value
Every couple has items of value. A family home is a piece of real property. Vehicles, jewelry, family heirlooms and furniture may all have monetary value. Family businesses or savings and retirement accounts are part of the marital assets as well. Credit card or loan debt is part of the equation too. These items are all part of the property settlement for the divorce. Dividing them equitably between the partners is the goal of mediation. Having a list of all valued property makes division easier and ensures both parties receive their fair share.
Evaluating the Property
Massachusetts is a community property state when dividing marital assets. If the property is kept by one party, the other party deserves their share of the equity. If selling property, both partners will receive an equal amount. Written evaluations by a neutral third-party are invaluable to the mediation. This helps establish actual values and equity of the property. It keeps the mediation on a successful track for both parties.
Bring a Written List of Goals
Mediation is a form of negotiation. It is important for each person to know their goals. Writing them down gives a person the opportunity to ensure they reach their goals. It is difficult to make changes once a mediation agreement is complete. Referring to a list of properties being split and their value ensures nothing is forgotten in the final mediation agreement.
Mediation is often a cost-effective way for couples to divide their assets without the cost of litigation. Being fully prepared for the mediation is the best way to achieve a fair settlement for both parties.