How To Make A Property Division Checklist
Anyone who is planning for a divorce should take steps in advance to prepare for property division and other processes that will need to happen in their divorce case. For many people in the Atlanta area, creating a property division checklist in advance can give them a way to organize all of their relevant property and assets and to determine what major property division issues are likely to arise. A checklist can also be helpful for determining your separate property and collecting all relevant financial documents that you may need. A property division checklist can give you a chance to identify all property that you own to ensure that you provide the court with a full and accurate accounting, and it can also give you an opportunity to consider whether your spouse could be concealing certain assets. Most property division checklists are divided into categories, and you can use the following information as a guide for yourself.
For each item in every category, you should list property that you believe will be classified as separate property (and not subject to division) as well as property that is likely to be classified as marital property and divided according to equitable distribution. For each item, it is also essential to identify the date of acquisition, and to make a note of any titles, receipts or appraisals you have.
First, you should identify all personal property:
- Books and records;
- Motor vehicles;
- RVs; and
Next, make a list of any real property you own and relevant documentation:
- Primary residence;
- Vacation properties;
- Rental properties;
- Business properties;
- Deeds; and
- Mortgage documents.
What are your financial assets and debts? Make a list accordingly:
- Checking accounts;
- Savings accounts;
- Retirement accounts;
- 401(k) plans;
- 403(b) plans;
- Stocks or bonds;
- Cash values of insurance policies;
- Assets contained in trusts; and
- Credit accounts with debt owed.
When one or both spouses in a marriage owns a business or is a co-owner of a business, it will be important to accurately identify all business assets and debts. Make a list of any of the following:
- Sole proprietorship run by one of the spouses;
- Limited liability company (LLC);
- Professional practice, such as a law office or medical office;
- Business property deeds;
- Commercial mortgages; and
- Outstanding business debts.
Tips for Cataloging Property
When you are making a list of all property, it is important to include property that you know you own or that you own with your spouse, as well as property you attribute to your spouse, and property that you believe might exist. You should gather any documentation related to the assets and debts you have identified, and any materials that might help to determine purchase date, value, and whether the property should be classified as separate or marital property. Even if you are not certain about a specific asset, it is important to list it on your checklist. A particular stock might have been sold, but identifying it might allow you to trace the money gained from the sale, or to potentially uncover a hidden asset or revenue stream.
Contact a Property Division Attorney in Atlanta
If you have questions about property division or need assistance identifying assets and debts, one of the experienced Atlanta property division attorneys at Kaye, Lembeck, Hitt & French can help.