There is no shortage of questions to answer and roadblocks to overcome before, during and after divorce. While some challenges are more difficult to conquer than others, it’s critical that you prepare accordingly for everything that could come your way.

When it comes to property division, a checklist can prepare you for the process. With this in hand, you’ll know what’s subject to division as well as what is joint and separate property.

As you create a property division checklist, you can move your assets into four unique categories:

  • Business assets: This is applicable if one or both individuals is a business owner. It can include commercial real estate, business bank accounts, cash and business equipment and supplies.
  • Real estate: In addition to the family home, other assets that fit into this category often include undeveloped land, vacation homes and rental properties.
  • Personal property: These assets vary greatly from couple to couple, with common examples including furniture, electronics, guns, collectibles, artwork, china, antiques, home office equipment, motor vehicles and recreational vehicles.
  • Financial assets: For many couples, this category is the most valuable as it includes bank accounts, cash, retirement accounts, stocks and bonds, certificates of deposit, profit sharing, pensions, mutual funds and annuities.

When creating a property division checklist, do your best to assign a value to each asset. This is easy with some, such as bank accounts, but others, including antiques and collectibles, may require professional assistance.

Furthermore, categorize each asset as individual or joint. For example, if you brought a particular piece of artwork into your marriage, it shouldn’t come into play when dividing your assets in a divorce.

You have your goals in regard to property division and you can rest assured that your soon-to-be ex-spouse has theirs. This is why keeping an open mind during negotiations is a must. It’s tough to do, but compromising is part of the process.

With the help of a property division checklist, you’ll better understand what you’re up against and how to make informed decisions. It’s your goal for your checklist to provide the guidance you need to protect your legal rights during this difficult time.