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Create a property and debt division checklist

As a married couple, there's a good chance you've commingled some (or all) of your assets at some point. In the event of a divorce, it's critical to understand what types of assets and debts are subject to division in Virginia.

Due to the many complexities of the law, it's critical to get organized and remain organized from day one. This means creating a property and debt division checklist as soon as possible.

When doing so, move your assets and debt into two categories: separate and marital.

For example, if you brought your vehicle into the marriage and have always paid for it yourself, it's separate property.

Conversely, if you bought a home with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, it's marital property, making it subject to division.

Your property division checklist should consist of four separate categories:

  • Real estate: This includes your marital home, as well as any rental property, vacation property, business property or undeveloped land.
  • Personal property: There can be hundreds of items within this category, with some of the most common including china, crystal, jewelry, home furnishings, artwork, stamp collections, electronics, home business equipment, clothing, furs, antiques, motor vehicles, boats and recreational vehicles.
  • Financial assets: It's often the most valuable category, as it includes assets such as bank accounts, retirement accounts, educational accounts, stocks and bonds, annuities and life insurance policy cash values.
  • Business assets: These only come into play if one or both individuals are a business owner. Business assets often include office equipment, office furniture, business bank accounts and commercial real estate.

Some of the many types of debt that you may have to contend with include:

  • Credit cards
  • Mortgage
  • Car loans
  • Personal loans
  • Hard money loans
  • Home equity loans or lines of credit
  • Tax debt

With a property and debt division checklist guiding you, it's easier to understand what you'll have to negotiate during the divorce process.

Even though you'll have to compromise in some areas, you have legal rights and it's critical to protect them every step of the way. When you make sound decisions during your divorce, you're setting yourself up for financial success in the future.

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