Many divorcing spouses find it helpful to streamline asset division into five basic steps.
- Start with a list of your real estate property and document the value as if the property were being sold on the market today. Then deduct any outstanding loans to determine the approximate equity in the home.
- Itemize current balances for checking and savings accounts, money market accounts, CDs, stocks, bonds, IRA’s, 401(k)s, deferred compensation plans, and any other accounts you and your spouse maintain. Make a note of any loans taken, large withdrawals, liquidations, or transfers. Find the most recent pension statement to clarify the total benefit amount and the projected monthly payments anticipated at the time of distribution.
- Research the Blue Book value of all the vehicles in their present condition. Most people tend to Edmund or Kelley’s Blue Book to help with this valuation process. Subtract any loans on the vehicles to calculate their approximate equity.
- Make a thorough list of furniture, furnishings, and household items as well as collectibles such as coins, stamps, trains, and artwork collections.
- Identify all outstanding debts and obligations, which might include student loans, credit card balances that are not paid off each month, hospital bills, and other personal loans, including those with family or friends.
Bari Zell Weinberger is the owner and managing partner of Weinberger Law Group in New Jersey. She is Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney.