Divorce Property Settlement
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A divorce property settlement is a legal agreement signed by both the partners to divide all the property, assets and debts that they own jointly. The divorce settlement includes various factors such as alimony, child support, custody, retirement plans, child's education, insurance policies and debts ranging from mortgage to credit card payments.
The couple can make their own agreement, given they are on amicable terms and haven't separated bitterly. The other option is that the court divides the property and makes them sign an agreement which is beneficial to both the parties.
The judicial distribution of property obligations and rights amongst divorcing partners is termed as Division of Property. This may be done by means of a Divorce Property Settlement or by judicial decree.
The basic document in a Divorce Property Settlement
This document is titled as "Inventory and Appeasement" This is a roster of the entire property of a party. It is inclusive of separate and marital property. Both liabilities and assets are taken into account. It is expected that both parties fill in self inventory. This should comprise of values of all assets and present balances in case of all debts. Each party must swear this document before a notary public and then forward one copy to the opposing party and file one copy with the court.
Some of the crucial items that must be included in this document are as follows.
What if a party does not make full disclosure in a Divorce Property Settlement?
As per the law, each and every party should make a complete disclosure of the following.
Let us see from an example what would happen if any party attempts to hide assets. Consider the following case of Denise Rossi in 1996.
She won the California State Lottery worth 1.3 million USD. 11 days after knowing that she had won the lottery, she filed for divorce and during the divorce proceedings concealed the fact that she had won this lottery. Her marital life extended over a span of 25 years. Her ex husband found out that Denise had won this lottery, 2 years after the judgment was entered. He filed a motion regarding this concealment. The judge concluded that Denise had willfully hidden that her assets comprised of these 1.3 million USD. The punishment was that she should disburse this amount to her ex husband.
Some characteristics of Divorce Property Settlement
Usually, a divorce property settlement is done as per the individual or separate property and the community or marital property. However, there are some exceptions to the marital property settlement. For instance, if a spouse receives an inheritance, a gift, a monetary award or a compensation during the marriage, it is considered as an individual property by the court. However, the property acquired jointly or by the sole bread-winner of the family is considered as the community or marital property.
For a divorce property settlement to be legal, some factors are essential. These factors are as follows:
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