How to Divide Finances During a Marriage Dissolution

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  • Make a comprehensive list of all assets and debts, including bank accounts, real estate, stocks and bonds, retirement funds, and credit card debts.
  • Consult an attorney experienced in divorce mediation to ensure best interests are represented.
  • Categorize all assets into personal or joint ones depending on when they were acquired.
  • Valuate assets with the help of a third-party expert such as an appraiser or financial advisor.
  • Consider future financial obligations like child support, alimony, and other payments.

Divorce is hard. It’s an emotionally-charged event that can feel overwhelming, and the division of finances can make things even more complicated. The financial aspect of a divorce is one of the most significant areas of conflict and contention, and both parties must understand the process of dividing assets and debts. This post will walk you through some essential things to consider when dividing finances during a marriage dissolution.

Make a list of all assets and debts

It’s crucial to make a comprehensive list of all assets and debts, including bank accounts, real estate, stocks and bonds, retirement funds, and credit card debts. This way, both parties can clearly understand what needs to be divided. Additionally, note all assets that were acquired before and after the marriage.

Consult an Attorney

couple consulting a lawyer

Navigating the waters of property division can be complex, and a qualified attorney can help. Hiring an attorney who has experience with divorce cases could mean better representation and help to make navigating divorce easier.

To ensure your best interests are represented, choosing an attorney experienced in divorce mediation is essential. Looking for the best divorce mediation lawyer can help you navigate the complex process of dividing assets and debts between the parties involved. They can provide legal advice on alimony, property division, and child support payments.

Categorize Assets

In most divorce cases, assets, finances, and debt obligations must be divided fairly between each party equitably and amicably. It’s important to categorize all assets, joint accounts, shared debts, and future financial obligations.

Identifying Assets

The first step in a marriage dissolution is to identify and categorize all assets owned by the parties involved. It is essential to know what belongs to whom, whether it’s a personal or joint asset, and when it was acquired.

This process should encompass many items, including the home, bank accounts, investments, retirement accounts, cars, and any additional property. This can be a time-consuming process, but it’s crucial to handle it thoroughly to ensure a fair and equitable division.

Valuing Assets

In addition to identifying assets, it’s necessary to evaluate them. Often, an expert third party, such as an appraiser or financial advisor, can assist in determining the value of assets. When it comes to more considerable purchases such as property or investments, it’s recommended that both parties get their expert evaluations. The assessments will help ensure the fair division of support and avoid any undue disagreements over values.


Once the assets have been identified and valued, it’s time to start working on the debts. If they’re joint debts, parties must share the responsibility for repayment. These debts include mortgage and credit card debt, car and personal loans, and tax liabilities. It should be noted that even if one party was responsible for more credit card debt, for example, than the other, they are still joint debts, and both parties are responsible for repayment.

Future Financial Obligations

All future financial obligations, including child support, alimony, and other payments, must be determined as part of the divorce process. The costs of health insurance, education, and other long-term commitments should also be discussed. These aspects of a divorce can be complicated, but addressing them ensures a just and equitable outcome for all parties.

Consider the Division of Property

ouple reading contract for divorce

Property division can happen in one of two ways: through a mutual agreement or a court order. In contracts between both parties, they can amicably discuss and come to an arrangement that suits them.

Alternatively, if an agreement is not possible, a court order could provide the necessary guidelines for dividing assets and debts of the marriage. During this process, the court will consider factors like the length of the marriage, the financial contributions of each spouse, and the health and age of either party.

The Bottom Line

Marriages may dissolve, but the financial consequences can linger for years. Dividing assets and debts is one of the most overwhelming tasks to navigate during a divorce. Both parties must approach asset division with a level head and civil mindset, taking guidance from qualified attorneys and financial advisors. By taking this approach, you can effectively divide the assets and debts of the marriage and pave the way to move on to the next chapter of your life.

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