Getting an uncontested divorce can be a simple and effective way to bring about the dissolution of your marriage. And while it can certainly speed along the process as a whole, there is one area where you want to slow down and take your time because it will ultimately determine what you take with you out of the divorce.
This should definitely not discourage you if you’re thinking about filing divorce forms on your own. It’s all straight forward enough information, but you should take it as an incentive to think about “your things” in more complex tones.
First, the obvious.
During a divorce, we have a tendency to think about our assets in broader terms, and that typically means one of the following come to mind:
All these bulleted items are major purchases that you most likely had to make through a bank or set up through a financial advisor. You probably won’t have any trouble listing them.
Next, the not so obvious.
Think about the physical objects that reside inside of your home. These objects could be things like antique furniture, valuable artwork, family heirlooms.
As a personal example, I’m a bit of a comic book nerd. One of my most prized possessions is the EC Comics Hardcover Library first editions: Tales from the Crypt and The Vault of Horror. I got both sets for $90 each a number of years ago. A recent eBay auction closed with TVOH editions going for more than $500. If I wanted to unload these for financial gain, I would make a tidy profit.
I had ownership of these books when I was a kid, so prior to my divorce, they could not have been considered joint property. However, the growth in value could be.
Situations like this would fall under what Strange calls the “exceptions to the separate property rule.”
Bottom line: defining marital property as accurately as you can when filling out the divorce forms is an essential part of a smooth, conflict-free divorce.