How to Divide the Assets

Once you've agreed to divorce and go your own ways, the ugly chore of splitting up your joint assets begins. The key is to be tough and, whatever you do, not give away what you rightfully own. You'll be happy one day that you did, no matter how difficult and stomach-wrenching it seems today.

To get a divorce agreement that serves your needs now and down the road, you have to have a solid accounting of the value of your assets (and liabilities) and an idea of how you'd like to divide them. Your financial future is at stake; don't forget it, and don't hold back.

Getting help

Child support and alimony take a whole different line of accounting. For now, let's focus on some major assets you need to divide shrewdly between yourself and your ex. Usually it is worth hiring a lawyer to help you sort this out fair and square.

Check state law

Even if you think the two of you have it all worked out, remember that state law can intrude. In many cases, what will be rightfully yours when the divorce is deemed final will depend on the laws of the division of property in your state.

Hire an accountant

You may need to hire a forensic accountant to delve into your spouse's investment accounts if you suspect he is hiding assets from you. And if you have a business to deal with, an outside appraiser to give a professional assessment of the enterprise's value is crucial.

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