When it comes to divorce in Salt Lake City, each party has a lot to lose–especially if you have children or significant assets. One of the most complex issues is the division of assets and property. Utah law requires the distribution to be equitable. In many divorce cases, both parties are unable to agree how to divide property and assets. It can often create an acrimonious situation. An experienced and knowledgeable Salt Lake City divorce lawyer can often make the difference between getting the settlement you deserve to losing everything you have rightfully earned.
Common Assets Involved in Utah Divorce
In most Utah divorces, there are three major assets that are usually involved–the home, personal property and retirement plans/investments. Here is a brief rundown on how Utah courts determine equitable asset and property division.
Home & Property: Many of the most heated divorce cases in Salt Lake City involve which party is entitled to receive the home. The court can use several different methods of determination. Here are the most common depending on the circumstances of each case. First, the court may order the house to be sold and equity divided among the two parties. The court may also allow one party to buy out the other person’s interest in the real property. Another common ruling is to have the property awarded to one party and the remaining assets of equal value given to the other.
Personal Property: Personal property is classified as the ownership of any material possessions that can be moved. It includes cars, furniture, and clothing. While most people do not share clothes, the determination of vehicles and furniture can sometimes become complex–especially if they are co-owned by each party. Utah courts place a priority on dividing personal property equitably.
Retirement Plans & Investments: The division of retirement and investment accounts can sometimes get complicated under Utah family law. If only one party has a pension or retirement plan, in most cases the other party is entitled to half of the amount earned during the time of the marriage. Any money earned before the marriage will not be divided. If both parties have their names on investment or retirement plans, the court can rule either two ways. Both individuals can retain the full value of their own plans or the court will order an equitable distribution of all accounts.
Mediation Can Be a Solution
In a perfect world, divorcing couples can agree to divide assets and property on their own. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. But there are some solutions to come up with a reasonable agreement. One viable option is mediation. Many Salt Lake City divorce attorneys offer mediation services to help couples find common ground on some of the most difficult family law issues. Under Utah family law, both parties are required to undergo at least one mediation session to attempt to resolve their differences. A mediator is an independent arbitrator who can listen to both sides explain their issues and concerns. It is often a less stressful alternative to court is also far less expensive than going through the conventional divorce process.
To learn more about your options concerning the division of assets and property, contact Salt Lake City divorce attorney Emy A. Cordano for a consultation today.