Why You Should Avoid Dividing Your Property in Court

Why You Should Avoid Dividing Your Property in Court?

By Lisa RisnerDecember 10, 2021

During a divorce, you and your ex-spouse will prepare to live separate lives. This means you’ll need to make plans for childcare and custody, insurance coverage, and even division of property. To avoid getting overwhelmed, you’ll need the help of a divorce mediation specialist.

While you can leave these decisions up to the court, many couples prefer to hash things out among themselves and reach an agreement instead. Divorce mediation is designed to help you negotiate a fair settlement that suits your needs.

How Do Property Division Laws Work?

During a divorce, you and your spouse will need to divide your property and debts amongst yourselves. If you take your divorce directly to court, they’ll use local laws to determine the best way to divide your property.

Couples that have prenuptial agreements can use the terms of their agreement instead of being subject to those laws. Prenuptial agreements make the division of property very clear before the marriage even takes place. However, most couples do not take the time to use prenups.

California has community property laws, which means that any property purchased and income earned during your marriage belongs to both spouses. The same principle also applies to debts.

Some states allow a judge to determine a fair and equitable division of property, but in California, courts will divide things evenly between both spouses.

Anything that falls outside of the community property category is considered separate property. This includes assets you bring in with you from before your marriage, gifts addressed specifically to you, and more.

However, you may need to prove in court that your assets qualify as separate property. Property laws related to divorce are complex and can add significant time to the length of your trial. 

What Alternatives Are Available?

Property division laws are imprecise and don’t always reflect a couple’s needs accurately. To avoid dealing with the nuisance of court time, you can take matters into your own hands.

It’s possible to settle your divorce outside of court, including property division. Some couples choose this path in order to avoid exorbitant legal fees and long trials. It can be challenging to sort out asset division without any legal advice.

A mediator provides just enough guidance to help you have productive discussions with your ex.

Mediation is an informal arrangement. It isn’t legally binding, and you’re free to have honest, open discussions without worrying about being judged by the court. That means it provides much more flexibility than court trials.

If you are concerned about unfavorable or strict court rulings, a mediated divorce settlement could be the alternative you are looking for.

How Does Mediation Work?

Mediation involves a neutral third party who can provide insight into your concerns about divorce and marriage.

Your Orange County divorce mediator is usually someone with legal knowledge who is also trained in conflict resolution. They will guide your conversations with your ex, providing an outside opinion and helping you consider all your options.

It takes a specific skill set to help couples create a legal agreement, and our mediators have both conflict resolution skills and knowledge of divorce law.

A mediator can help you have difficult conversations in a productive manner. If you struggle to talk about important issues without fighting, mediation can help you stay focused and avoid well-tread arguments.

The two of you can come together for the shared purpose of creating a divorce settlement agreement. 

What Is a Divorce Settlement Agreement?

Your divorce settlement agreement includes all the details of your divorce, such as how you are splitting your property, the division of debts, child support payments, and more. Because of all the important legal details, you’ll need an attorney to draft this agreement.

Before you sign an agreement, most experts suggest having your own attorney assess it and make sure it reflects your interests.

This agreement is filed at the courthouse to provide a legal record of the plan both parties have agreed to for your divorce. That makes it a formal legal agreement that both of you must honor.

How Can You Divide Property Through Mediation?

You and your spouse have better insight into your marriage and the property you own than anyone else. With a mediator’s guidance, you can discuss among yourselves the best way to sort out your respective property, along with jointly-owned property.

To make the division process easier, it’s a good idea to prepare a few things before you arrive at your first mediation session. Some minor preparation can set the tone for a productive session.

First, create an itemized list of assets for you and your spouse to refer to. It may be helpful to have each of you create your own list with assets you consider your own.

If your assets likely have significant value, it’s also a good idea to have them appraised before you begin the division process. That way, you’ll know what you are working with, and you can ensure that there’s a fair division between both spouses.

At this point, you and your spouse can go down the list and pick out assets. This typically requires some negotiation and compromise. You can each state your top priorities and attempt to accommodate them.

During the property division part of your mediation session, your mediator can provide an outside opinion, as well as potentially useful legal information. 

Get Help from Divorce Mediation Specialist for Dividing Your Property

When it comes to important decisions like the division of property, mediation has several benefits. It keeps your decisions private and also gives you complete control over the agreement between you and your spouse.

As long as you find a solution that is satisfactory to both of you, you’ll have a lot of freedom in terms of the details.

Divorce Mediation of California offers an affordable solution to your divorce concerns. We offer all the services you need to successfully complete your divorce, all for a flat fee.

Our divorce mediation Anaheim services will help you complete a divorce quickly and effectively. To schedule an appointment for a free consultation, contact us at the Divorce Mediation of California today.

369 San Miguel Dr #100, Newport Beach, 
CA 92660, USA
© 2024 Divorce Mediation of California, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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