It can be tempting to view the process of property division during a divorce as a way to exact some sweet revenge. Fighting for items that may have sentimental value to your spouse may feel good. To have the chance to deprive your spouse of something special may feel justified, particularly if your spouse is the reason for the divorce.
Yet couples who use asset division as a battleground may end up hurting themselves in the process. There are very real financial implications in asset division, and in many cases it is more beneficial to take cooperative approach that puts your long-term financial stability at the forefront. Sometimes, letting the other party have an item of sentimental value means you can get other property worth as much or more.
Do note hide assets
With a few exceptions, all assets acquired during your marriage are marital property. Keeping any of these from the legal process of property division can result in serious consequences, including the loss of those assets to your spouse. You may also end up paying for any expenses your spouse incurs in the search for those assets.
Facing this part of your divorce with dignity and cooperation will help you avoid any ramifications that could damage your financial future.
Cooperation works - if both parties agree to it
You and your spouse may arrive at a more agreeable division of your belongings by negotiating, rather than letting the court decide. After all, you have the better idea of the emotional attachment each item carries, and a willingness to work through the process together may bring a more satisfying and long-lasting resolution.
Discussing the separation of the major items, such as the house, cars, bank accounts and debts, may be difficult, but you may find that working with a mediator can bring about a peaceful settlement. In addition to arriving at a fair and equitable division of assets, you may find that working with a mediator allows you and your spouse to reach a better emotional place at the end of your marriage.
Of course, it does take two parties to negotiate. In some cases, fighting for your financial rights is necessary. Still, it makes sense to start from a position of cooperation. If the other side is not negotiating in good faith or hiding assets, there is still the option of fighting aggressively to protect your own interests.