If you and your spouse are able to resolve the division of the smaller household items on your own, it will save both of you time and expenses.
For intangible items such as bank, investment or retirement accounts, please attach a copy of the statement closest to the date of separation. Values for these types of assets will generally come from the paperwork. If the value of the account is significant, then we can request a value as of the specific date of separation. Pensions and retirement accounts will be listed on a separate schedule on your final Equitable Distribution Affidavit.
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We need additional information on these types of accounts since they cannot be easily valued or distributed. If you have the most recent copy of a plan information statement or yearly value statement, please attach it. Otherwise, obtain all of the information you can and we will assist you to obtain anything else we need. There is a separate sheet listed for specifying all debts. List in the name and address of the creditor, the name on the account, the balance of the debt as of the date of separation and as of the date you are completing the affidavit and indicate the purpose for the debt.
If the debt is secured by property, indicate what property. Provide us with a copy of all documents evidencing each debt. Also indicate who has been paying the debt since the date of separation. If you are the party who has been paying the debt, indicate amount you have paid through the date of the affidavit.
Marital Property: List all marital property here. Notes: Use this worksheet to make notes or list questions for your attorney as you prepare the documents. The lists of marital or separate property include columns for the following information: Description: When describing an asset, put in enough details so that your spouse will know what item you are describing.
Location: For real estate, put the address. Who has possession of a personal property item will be noted in a separate column.
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Date Acquired: Only property acquired during the marriage should be listed on the Marital Property spreadsheet. If you know when an item was acquired, make note. If not, you can estimate, since the age of the item may help support your contention of value. Original Price: If you have the receipts from the purchase of any items or credit card bills or cancelled checks, it will help support your affidavit.
If you do not have the receipt, please do your best to estimate the original purchase price. Source of funds: This is an important element in determining whether the asset is marital or separate. Noting which account was used to pay for the item is also useful, when known. If the funds came from a separate source such as money that was inherited or an exchange of property that was inherited or that one party had before marriage, then please note the source. We will need to discuss whether or not that asset should be on the separate property list.
If the item was gifted to both of you, then simply note who the gift was from in the source of funds column. Fair Market Value as of Date of Separation: It is important to value each item as of the date that you and your spouse separated. In determining your opinion of value, you should consider the amount for which you could have sold the property on the date of separation. Antiques and collectibles may be considered at a higher value. You should be able to obtain a professional opinion of value for vehicles, boats and other expensive items. You can also use internet resources to determine the values of certain items, especially motor vehicles.
It may be necessary to obtain appraisals of real estate or other assets. If any items have been appraised in the past, please provide us a copy of the appraisal. Outstanding Lien on Date of Separation: If the listed asset is security for any debt such as a mortgage or auto loan , list the amount owed as of the date of separation.
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If you do not currently have possession of a certain item, but want possession of it as part of the resolution of the case, remember that the item may be in a different condition by the time you regain possession. An item, such as a computer, may be completely obsolete by the time the case is concluded.
If it is an item for which possession is very important to you, then we need to take some action to try to gain possession or at least confirm the condition of the item prior to the final resolution of the case. If you have possession of any items that you believe your spouse will ultimately obtain in the distribution, then we should consider going ahead and transferring those items to the spouse so that you are not responsible for maintaining them pending the final resolution of the action. You need to determine a fair opinion of value for all items regardless of who has possession and who will ultimately retain possession.
If you have no opinion of value, then please note that in the column.
Unless you later supplement this list with an opinion, then your opinion will not be considered by the court. In that case, the court will likely go with whatever your spouse says the property is worth. If the property has value and you are uncomfortable determining that value, then you should seek the advice of a professional to determine a value.
In fact, things could get worse for you if your ex files bankruptcy.
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Be careful about leaving joint accounts open after the divorce or even leading up to it. A credit card or line of credit left open is dangerous. Your ex-spouse can transfer balances from their own accounts to accounts that you hold jointly. Or, they can run up the balance leaving you to pay for the purchases. In the case of authorized user accounts , the creditor only holds the primary account holder responsible for the debt. A simple phone call can resolve authorized user issues. To protect your credit, you may choose to pay off the debts yourself and go back to court to have your ex-spouse repay you.
Non-Marital or Separate Property