As you head toward divorce, you need to recognize it for what it is: a major financial transaction. By the time your marriage dissolution is finalized, your marital estate will be divided, and the court will rule on any pending child support and alimony requests. In other words, the ultimate outcome of your divorce can define the financial picture of your future.
That might stress you out and leave you feeling overwhelmed, but there are steps you can take to protect your financial interests. To minimize the risks associated with your divorce, though, you’ll have to be fully prepared heading into settlement negotiations and litigation. Let’s look at how you can go about readying yourself for the dispute ahead.
What you should do to prepare for property division in Hawaii
You can’t improvise your way to a successful divorce outcome. Instead, you need to have a strong legal strategy heading into your case. This includes doing the following:
- Conducting an accounting of marital assets: Pursuant to Hawaii law, you’re entitled to your fair share of the marital estate. But to figure out what assets are in play during the property division process, you have to know what assets you and your spouse own. So, even though it can seem daunting to inventory everything, doing so is the first step to developing your negotiation and litigation strategy.
- Identifying individually owned property: If you can show that you owned property prior to your marriage and kept it separate from your marital funds and the marital estate, then you might be able to successfully argue that it shouldn’t be subjected to property division. The same argument can be made for inheritances that you truly keep separate from your marriage.
- Having valuations conducted: Once you identify property, you need to know how much it’s worth so that you can effectively negotiate. That’s easy to do when you’re looking at bank accounts, but it can be harder when you’re dealing with jewelry, pieces of art, or a business. Professional valuations can provide a significant amount of insight in your case, and it can also give you direction when developing your negotiation and litigation strategy.
- Knowing your spouse’s goal: Your spouse has wants and needs as they head into your divorce. If you can identify their priorities, then you’ll be better positioned to leverage certain assets to your advantage. This makes for an effective strategy and gives you a place to start settlement talks.
- Thinking logically: When you think about the logistics of asset ownership, there are going to be some clear ways to enact division. For example, if you and your spouse each own a vehicle, it probably makes sense for you to each keep your own car. If you and your spouse own property that you realistically won’t use, then it’s probably best for your spouse to take the asset, thereby allowing you to focus on those assets that really matter to you. So, be logical in your approach to property division.
Confidently develop a property division strategy in your divorce
If you want to secure post-divorce financial stability, then developing a competent property division strategy is key. You’ll need thorough preparation, an understanding of the law, and the willingness to push back against your spouse when they’re being overly aggressive.
If the thought of advocating for yourself in your divorce has you feeling uneasy, don’t worry. You can seek out the help that you need to get through this trying time and hopefully come out on the other side stable and stronger.