Dividing Property – What to Include in the Agreement

More often than not, a divorce is uncontested. The parties amicably divide their property and resolve their differences. There is a limbo that these parties do, however, as they try to divide everything and finalize their divorce without “rocking the boat”, so to speak. Often in these scenarios, I personally find that clients hesitate to provide me with information that I need in order to finalize their divorce, for fear of causing waves which would delay their proceedings. Do not be afraid to provide this information to your attorney, as it is necessary to protect you.

The most common response I hear from potential clients and clients is “we don’t have anything together”. I ask what I need to include in the Marital Settlement Agreement, and what is to be divided, and the person responds that they don’t have anything. When I ask more pointed questions, I find that these answers change quite a bit. I ask about bank accounts, credit card accounts and the like, and the person typically replies “but we aren’t dividing that” or “but that is only in my name”. It does matter, though, and it must be included in the Marital Settlement Agreement so as to ensure the other party doesn’t come back in and try to vacate the dissolution of the marriage, alleging that the other party failed to disclose certain assets. We always include these items in a divorce decree, we just award them to the sole possession of one of the parties. It is always better to disclose than not to disclose, to ensure that there is no way someone can come in later and try to vacate the dissolution of the marriage. It is always necessary to be forthcoming to best protect yourself.

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