Dividing marital property is rarely an easy undertaking. Even if all that a young couple owns is kitchenware, linens, two futons and a dog, splitting property that has been used for each spouse’s mutual benefit can become a contentious challenge. With that said, even the most complex high-asset property division scenarios do not necessarily have to become contentious.
If you and your spouse benefit from affluent financial circumstances, you have the same options as those with lesser means: you can reach mutually-agreeable property division terms out of court or you can litigate your fundamental differences in court. If you litigate your divorce, as Idaho is a community property state, you’ll generally be expected to divide the value of your marital estate 50/50.
Clarifying priorities and setting expectations
Couples who can reach mutually-agreeable property division terms can split the value of their marital estate however they choose. Even in complex, high-asset scenarios, couples who are willing to get creative, compromise and keep their situation amicable may be able to craft a fair settlement via attorney-led negotiation and/or mediation.
Yet, even when the asset division process isn’t contentious, it is important for each spouse to have a clear idea of their priorities and goals concerning this consequential undertaking. It will otherwise be very difficult for either party to set expectations and to either negotiate in good faith or litigate successfully.
Assuming (even under amicable circumstances) that you will only receive 50% of your marital estate once your divorce is complete, which assets – or their relative value – would you prioritize and why? Understanding the answer to this question can help you to strategize in ways that will advance your interests and build a strong financial foundation for your future.