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Marital Property in Divorce | Dividing Marital Estate in Divorce

A major step in the divorce process includes the division of marital property. It’s not only difficult but can get complicated. As a whole, marital property consists of all property and assets that you and your spouse acquired together during the course of the marriage. This can include a business, marital estate, and even debts. Wisconsin law presumes that all property is marital property. It is your responsibility to prove something is individual property.

Valuing Marital Estate

If there is no valid prenuptial agreement, then the assets needed to be divided. Wisconsin is considered a community property state, meaning both parties are entitled to half of the marital property. The first step is to determine the equity of the assets, what they’re worth. The equity is determined first by finding the amount a buyer would pay and subtracting mortgages and other loans from this number. Finding the value of marital estate usually requires an appraiser. It would be easier to obtain one appraiser and simply split the cost. The appraiser would be able to get the value of the house, vehicles, business interests, collectibles, and other assets.

Dividing the Marital Estate

After finding the equity of each of the assets, the next step is dividing the marital estate. Division of the assets can easily be done through creation of a spreadsheet. Division of assets does not necessarily need to be equal because the equity can be offset by having one party pay specific debts or mortgages. Both parties should at least have a significantly equal share of the estate. If the assets are not equal, the party with the greater amount may need to give a cash payment to the other spouse. Instead of a cash payment, as mentioned previously this party may take on mortgages and loans to reduce the spouse’s interest in specific assets.

Not only is divorce difficult emotionally, but dividing your marital estate can be complicated and stressful. At Hart Law Office, we understand the law and what it means for your property. Our knowledgeable and experienced divorce attorneys work with you and your spouse to achieve a fair distribution of property. Contact us for a free consultation.

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    Q: What is a divorce?

    A: A divorce is the legal termination of marriage. All states require a spouse to identify a legal reason for requesting a divorce when filing the divorce papers with the court. The reasons given when filing are referred to as the grounds for divorce.

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