Splitting These Six Assets During a Divorce

There's a common joke among ex-couples. They say that it might have been better if they didn't accrue so many properties during their marriage. Maybe then, they wouldn't need to argue about who gets what and what gets sold or not. But when you're in a happy marriage, divorce is far from your mind. The idea is to spend your life with your spouse. Whatever you two have accumulated and built during those years were products of your collective dreams and ambitions.

But alas, things do happen that are way beyond anyone's control. Even though you have tried to make your marriage work, you both find it is more practical and healthier to get a divorce. While the decision to get divorced is amicable, the division of assets is not. Who gets what? Which properties should you sell? What about those years when only one of you shouldered the payments for these assets? Should those properties still be divided equally?


If it is an ancestral home, the spouse from whose family the house came should keep it. If the other one can let go of the issue amicably, there is no need to thresh out the details of the agreement. If it's an inheritance, then all the more that the other spouse should let it go.

The easiest solution, of course, is to sell the house and divide the profits between the couple. If one wants to keep the house and the other one wants to make a profit, then the spouse who wants to keep the house should buy the other person's half. This can be done either by cash, by installment, or by exchanging another property of the same value.


Then there's the matter of your business. You both worked hard for this business, and you want to continue managing it. You even called a small business lawyer to study the options of dividing the business only to find out that doing so will impact the brand. Can you still work together in the interest of the business?

The best way to split the business is to continue running it and divide the monthly proceeds between you. Both of you should open a separate bank account wherein the proceeds from the business will be deposited. You can let either a manager or accountant handle this. As for business decisions, make sure to work as a business partner and not as an ex-couple.


The rules of splitting a car are similar to that of splitting the house. You should either sell it or the other person pays the other one half of the value of the car. Legally, the option is to sell the car and divide the profits. This prevents contentious issues on the actual value of the car and the price that the other person should pay for it.

Household Furniture and Similar Items

Over the years, you have accumulated quite a number of things-a large television, a smart refrigerator, and valuable artwork. The most common solution to this problem is for each spouse to negotiate on the monetary and sentimental value of each piece of furniture. For example, if you want the dining set and your spouse wants the living room set, and they have similar worth, then that's a good split.

For smaller household items, apply the same formula. If you work in the kitchen and your spouse doesn't, what should keep you from taking the kitchen gadgets and appliances? Your spouse can take other items of similar value.


How much does the artwork cost? This is a tricky subject because no one may want to sell the artwork and divide the proceeds. That's the most practical route when it comes to collectibles. The best way you can avoid problems here is to call an appraiser to determine the value of each piece. You can agree to call it even if you both pick an artwork that's priced almost the same. What happens if both of you want the artwork? Legally, you have to sell it and split the proceeds in two.


Splitting the retirement benefits is always tricky because of the taxes and penalties involved. Your spouse is entitled to half of your 401(k). There are three ways that your spouse can get half of the fund. The first one is to get a lump sum cash payment of half the value of the 401(k). There's also the option of rolling half of the fund to the other person's plan. Your spouse may also opt to leave the share in your account and make withdrawals once you retire. For this, you need a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) that will outline the specifics of the split.

Divorce is a heartbreaking enough process without you making it more challenging by contesting everything. If you truly want this to become an amicable process, make sure to work together with your spouse and lawyer to arrive at a fair outcome. If you have it in you to compromise and give way, then that will go a long way toward healing.

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Posted - 03/03/2021