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5 property division steps you can take before a divorce

Divorce is rarely stress-free. However, people in Louisiana can take proactive steps to navigate the complexities of property division before divorce.

By being strategic and well-prepared, you can potentially ease the strain of separating marital assets.

1. Document assets and debts

Compile a comprehensive list of all assets and debts accumulated during the marriage. This inventory should include real estate, bank accounts, vehicles, investments and any other valuable possessions. Gather detailed records of debts, such as mortgages, loans and credit card balances, to ensure an accurate representation of the marital financial landscape.

2. Establish separate property

Louisiana follows a community property system, where assets acquired during the marriage are generally joint property. However, exceptions exist for assets acquired through inheritance or gifts to one spouse. To safeguard individual rights, clearly identify and document any property falling under these exceptions.

3. Value assets fairly

The median value of owner-occupied housing units in Louisiana is $198,300.  Determining the fair market value of homes and other assets is necessary for equitable property division. Real estate, vehicles and other high-value items may need appraisal. Obtaining accurate valuations ensures a more transparent process and helps prevent disputes over the division of assets.

4. Review prenuptial or postnuptial agreements

For those who have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, a careful review is necessary. These legal documents often outline specific provisions regarding property division in the event of divorce. Understanding the terms and conditions in the agreement can provide clarity and guidance.

5. Address joint debts

Joint debts can be a significant concern during divorce proceedings. It is good to address these financial obligations and develop a plan for their resolution. Clear communication and negotiation with your spouse may help in reaching agreements on how to handle joint debts amicably.

Meticulous preparation is wise for people in Louisiana facing divorce, particularly when it comes to the division of property. Individuals can navigate the process more smoothly and work towards a fair and equitable resolution.