Division of Property during Divorce in Delaware
How Does Delaware Divorce and Property Division Work?
While the state of Delaware has specific laws about how property that's acquired over the course of marriage should be divided among spouses in the event of a divorce, the exact way that martial property is defined can be interpreted in different ways.
Because there can be ambiguity during the course of this process, it can require ongoing litigation. In order to not only protect your best interests, but also keep costs as low as possible, it's important to work with an experienced lawyer who wants to both protect your rights and minimize the stress this process places on you.
At Rahaim & Saints, our philosophy on division of property divorce in Wilmington DE is to settle disputes out of court whenever possible. This allows us to negotiate aggressively on behalf of our clients, as well as have the best odds of minimizing how long the process lasts. That being said, if the situation can't be resolved through a settlement and requires going into a courtroom, we have over two decades of experience fighting for clients in that setting.
When you consult with property division attorneys in Wilmington DE during your divorce, there are many types of property that will be considered and divided; personal property and business property. Personal property includes marital assets such as your home, retirement accounts and other assets you have gathered during your married relationship. Business property involves any assets and profits related to a business you or you and your spouse have started together.
Dividing Marital Assets
When you consult property division attorneys in Newark DE or your community, one of the first issues that will arise is dividing marital property. This may include anything you have purchased together during the course of your marriage as well as assets belonging to your spouse that you may be entitled to. This can include retirement accounts, boats, recreational properties, homes and more.
When considering marital property, it's important to remember that Delaware is not a 50-50 split state. In the event of a divorce, marital assets are not automatically divided down the middle. Instead, many factors are considered, including the length of the marriage and each partner's contribution to the marriage.
The first step in the division of marital assets is to take a full inventory of everything jointly owned by the couple. Often, this isn't as straightforward as it seems. Assets can include both things owned by the couple (houses, cars, jewelry) as well as retirement accounts and other savings that won't be accessible for years to come. Dividing these assets is not straightforward, either a number of factors play into a legal consideration of who is entitled to what:
- The contributions made by each party to the marriage, both financially and as a husband, wife, homemaker or parent
- The length of the marriage and of any prior marriages of either party
- The ability of either party to support themselves in the future, including their age, health, vocational skills, work history and any opportunities for future acquisition of assets
- Whether the family home is being awarded to either party
- Any alimony awards determined by the court
- The debts of either party and the tax implications of dividing the assets
The court will aim to take into account a reasonable consideration of the overall financial situation of both parties and make a judgment that is fair. In Delaware, a property division lawyer is allowed to attend these proceedings and argue for the interests of their clients. Because the above considerations include both material and immaterial factors, an attorney who knows the law around Delaware property division is an important ally.
Division of Business Assets
Today, many people decide to set up their own business to earn extra income or get more control over their working lives. If you and your spouse have set up a business together, you will need to determine how you will split the business debts, property, interests and other business assets and liabilities collected during your lives together.
Even if you did not work in business equally together, you may have to divide business assets in some manner. For example, if your spouse established a business, and you supported them by staying home to raise the children or by being supportive in another manner, you may be entitled to part of the business assets because you did contribute. Even a sole proprietorship or freelance-based business could be subject to asset division in a divorce.
If you are filing for a divorce, and there is a joint business or business in one spouse's name, it's important to speak to property division attorneys in Delaware. Your concern in this case isn't just to protect your family, but also to protect your business. You may have plans for maintaining the business or even expanding it after your marital relationship ends. If that's the case, working with martial asset attorneys in Wilmington DE or your community is important to ensure the business survives the divorce and leaves you with the resources you need to continue your work life.
Marital asset attorneys in Newark DE will usually begin the division process by determining ownership and each partner's contributions as well as the value of the business. Assigning a dollar amount to your business is a very complex task. If needed, the attorneys at Rahaim & Saints enlist the help of subject matter experts when determining the true value of your business. These experts can include accountants, financial planners and tax specialists.
When determining the value of your business during a divorce no stone is left unturned. All aspects of your business will be examined. These can include:
- Tax Information
- Financial Records
- Balance Sheets
- Equipment Lists
- Real Estate
- Intellectual Property
- Spouse' Participation
Working with an experienced attorney ensures an accurate valuation of your business as well as a fair assessment of your contribution to the company, so you can get your fair share of the profits and assets.
What You Need to Know About Division of Assets in a Divorce
Division of assets can be one of the most challenging but important parts of your divorce. The assets you have accumulated yourself and any assets or debts you have acquired together during the course of your marriage can all be subject to division. It's important to minimize the amount of assets you lose while maximizing the amount of assets you receive to ensure you have the financial resources needed to start rebuilding your life after the divorce.
Division of assets can be a challenging situation, especially since emotions can readily become involved. Going from a shared life and shared assets to an individual life and individual assets is certainly a process. It begins with evaluating the total amount of assets and debts and placing a dollar value on everything.
You can make the situation a little easier by working with experienced and professional marital asset attorneys in Delaware. Experienced attorneys can ensure you get everything you deserve in keeping with the contributions you have made to the marriage. Whether you have been working hard and bringing income into the household or raising the children and taking care of household, you may deserve part of the marital assets in your divorce.
Since 1993, the attorneys at Rahaim & Saints have been helping families go through divorce in the most amicable and fairest way possible. We approach each divorce with compassion and an aggressive approach to ensure children and individuals involved in the process are fully protected. We can fight for what you deserve and work to minimize the losses you experience, so you can get a fresh start after your divorce. Contact our Wilmington or Newark offices today for a consultation to find out more.