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How are Assets Divided in a Divorce?

July 23, 2018

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How are Assets Divided in an Amicable Divorce
A divorce is an official or legal process to end a marriage or civil common union between two people that have lived together for 2 years or more. Going through a divorce, it's a tough situation for both parties although it occurs in an amicable way, since there are many issues related to properties, money, inheritance, debts or children's custody, that need to be solved during a marriage dissolution and as every divorce is a different scenery it is advisable for the parties to look for law firms in Colombia that provide them with the appropriate assistance and representation.

In this blog post we show you some of the most relevant aspects related to this important topic which will help to clarify doubts that you may have if your relationship has started having inconsolable differences:

What is an Amicable Divorce?

It is also known as mutual agreement divorce. This is a type of marriage dissolution in which both parties decide to end the relationship in good terms and they agree about all the issues related to the separation. This is a quick and simple process that allows the representation of at least one attorney and only can be carried out if there aren't children involved since the custody need to be determined by the judge.

In some cases, spouses decide to give the attorney a special power that grants him to perform the divorce before a notary, even to sign the document of divorce for them, if both or one party is not in the country.

What is a Common Divorce?

When a couple decides to get married, they don't do it thinking about the possibility of having a divorce in the future, but when this occurs so many legal concerns arise among the parties, even more, when children were born during the relationship. Once both parties make the decision to dissolve the marriage, they need to start thinking about the distribution of assets obtained during the marriage. One way of having things as clear as possible in a couple is having a prenuptial agreement, which far from being evidence of insecurity about your partner, it's a smart decision that will ease the situation whenever a divorce occurs.

Over the past 20 years, there's have been an increase in the number of couples getting a prenuptial agreement, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. This means that nowadays couples want to avoid any complaint about how assets will be divided in a divorce, in order to make the process –which is already a stressful situation– easier for both parties. This way all the assets acquired before the marriage will be protected, as well as inheritance or children's rights if it's the case.

Couple Signing a Prenuptial Agreement With a Law Firm in Colombia

Mutual and Separate Property

When a marriage dissolution occurs, assets are categorized into mutual property or separate property and it is necessary for the spouses to understand the difference between these two definitions.

Mutual or marital property is all those goods acquired in a marriage, whether they are tangible like properties, furniture, cars, or intangible like investments or debts. All mutual property of the couple will be included in the equitable distribution.

On the other hand, the separate property represents any asset acquired by each party prior to the marriage such as inheritance, heirlooms, gifts from a third party, payment received for suffering personal injuries, etc.

Fair Property Distribution

People may think that the equitable distribution is as simple as to divide all the properties in the middle, but it is not that easy. The equitable distribution consists of splitting down the property in a fair way, where aspects like the earning power of each party and their contributions in the course of the marriage are considered by the judge, in order to grant that each party receives equal distribution of property in value. In some cases, one of the spouses submits evidence at the court to demonstrate that his or her contribution was considerably bigger than the other party, so the judge can determine whether the request is accepted or not.

Commingled Funds

As mentioned before, when a couple gets married without a prenuptial agreement, all their mutual assets owned during the marriage are divided through equitable distribution when a divorce occurs, however, the spouses have the alternative of "commingle" their separate property, where one or both of them share their inheritance –money or property– brought into the marriage, with the marital assets which mean that inheritance will become subject to division in a divorce. Once you commingle your funds with your separate property there's no way back, and sometimes this can complicate even more the settlement negotiations when deciding how assets are divided in a divorce.

Husband and Wife Discussing how are Assets Divided in a Divorce
For instance, if you deposited the money that you got by inheritance prior the marriage into a joint account, then you have commingled your funds and they will not be considered as separate property anymore.

Divorce is a very complex process that involves both conflicting emotions and undesirable legal situations that generate a very hostile scenario, in which most of the time children are in the middle. Considering that every marriage dissolution process is different and it may imply a lot of legal procedures, it is advisable for the couple to get the proper help and representation of an attorney specialized in family law.

At AGT Attorneys we offer you the specialized assistance of our well-trained lawyers that will surely give you the peace of mind that you need to carry out this tough process in the best way. Our international legal representation service in countries like Perú, Panama, and EEUU allows us to advise you in the event of a divorce even if you don't live in Colombia.

AGT Attorneys is your best choice if you need legal representation in a divorce process, our wide experience attorneys will help you to dissolve your marriage in a short time and without problems. Give us a call at +57 1 702-3671 or leave your comments in our contact form below and we will gladly assist you.

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Categories: Divorce

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