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Separation & Divorce
When a marriage is terminated marital property and debts must be divided. Marital property includes, but is not limited to pensions and retirement accounts, houses and other real estate, stocks and bonds, and personal property including cars. If parties are unable to agree how the property and debts are to be divided the Court will decide. The Court is required by statute to divide the marital property equally between the parties unless it would be inequitable to do so. If the division is not equal it must be equitable.
Each party is required to file a financial disclosure form. The financial disclosure form informs the Court of the assets and their values and the debts and the amount owed on the debt. The financial disclosure form also requires parties to disclose separate property. Separate property is property that one party owned before the marriage or came to one of the parties during the marriage by gift or inheritance.
If the parties cannot agree on the value of an asset they will be required to provide the court with a professional opinion of the value of the asset. This may require that they hire an appraiser or other professional that values property. Because dividing property can be complicated the Court strongly recommends that you consult with a lawyer to avoid making what could be very costly mistakes.
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