It’s funny how money can be the single kiss of death that breaks a marriage or a relationship down. It’s even more ironic that money can make for an acrimonious divorce or separation. In marriage, in a relationship, as well as in a divorce or a separation, money matters.
The first order of business is to make an accurate and truthful disclosure of all assets: cash, savings, and property. The second thing is for the parties to calm down and remember that the longer it takes to settle their properties, the higher the legal costs they incur, and the smaller the asset pool will become. Thus, it behooves them to cooperate with each other.
The value of the assets of the marriage or relationship will also need to take care of the children of the marriage or relationship. The liabilities of the marriage or relationship will also have to be settled out of the assets: mortgages and loans have to be paid. Taxes have to be paid as well as court costs and these will have to be paid from the asset pool. Only if there is anything left after all liabilities have been paid can the spouses think about dividing the assets? The best and easiest way to settle money and property matters are by splitting everything in half.
The sentimental value of assets should be set aside as far as possible. It would be easier if the assets can be turned into cash as cash is easier to divide between two parties. But if the properties cannot be turned into cash, the next best thing is to take the assets and divide them into two lots of equal values. The parties can then cast lots to see which of them gets which lot of assets.
All this presupposes that spouses can agree and set aside their emotions. When parties cannot agree, the family court will have to divide the assets between the spouses or partners. For this, evidence will have to be presented on the contributions they made to the marriage and the acquisition of the properties of the marriage.
The court is under no obligation to split the assets in half between the parties and instead, consider what is just and equitable under the factual circumstances. And once the family court has made its decision on the division and settlement of properties, the parties are obliged to comply with the court’s decision.