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Determining your property is important to your divorce settlement

Before a divorce, you have to determine who owns what property. When you were married, you may not have thought much about who owned what, because everything was shared. Now, it's time to divide those assets, so you can focus on moving on with your life.

Equitable distribution states do not necessarily divide your assets equally, so that means that you'll want to write down all your assets and show why you deserve the portion that you believe you should have. For example, if you've always been the sole breadwinner, you may believe that you need more of your assets because you paid for them. Likewise, if you were a stay-at-home parent, you might argue that you deserve more because you gave up your work to stay at home with your children.

During the property division process, it's wise to know who owns separate property. For example, if you own a car that is in your name, then that is your separate property. If you buy a car for your spouse and put it in his or her name as well as yours, then you may be able to argue that it belongs to both of you.

The court can make a decision for you regarding who owns what property, but it's a better idea to work it out among yourselves if you can. Your attorney can help you work out which items you own separately before you begin to negotiate. Our website has more on this important process and what you should do to protect yourself and your assets.

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