Determining the fair distribution of property and assets during the divorce process can be difficult. Often people want to make preliminary agreements before they have a clear understanding of the value of their property as well as the actual tax consequences involved with different types of property. The mediation process allows you to understand the values and the tax consequences before making those decisions. A knowledgeable divorce attorney or mediator is critically important in valuing and ultimately dividing property including pensions, real estate, deferred compensation plans, and stock options especially given the tax consequences. For couples with significant assets and income, we can determine the value of your property using other professionals as needed. In mediation, without interference by the court, you decide how you want to divide your assets and debts based on your own priorities.
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Assets Eligible for Distribution
- Assets that can be divided through mediation or litigation:
- Bank accounts
- Stocks or mutual funds
- Houses, land, and businesses
A Community Property State
Often people confuse Wisconsin’s Marital Property Act with how to divide their property at divorce. But the two concepts are very different. Wisconsin is a community property state where married couples own their marital property equally regardless of who is on the title or deed. Some couples who are not divorcing may wish to change how they legally own their property in Wisconsin by “opting out” of the Marital Property law (or changing how the law applies to how they own their property) through a Marital Property Agreement.
Marital property is loosely defined as any assets acquired after your wedding day, the day residency was established or January 1, 1986. A Marital Property Agreement can also specifically address how a couple chooses to divide their assets upon divorce or death. Although this concept seems simple, there are many consequences to consider in drafting a Marital Property Agreement. It is a good idea to have an experienced divorce attorney represent you. Derr & Villarreal, LLC Attorneys & Mediators can assist you in determining whether a Marital Property Agreement is a good choice for you.
Derr & Villarreal, LLC Attorneys & Mediators will assist you in evaluating the tax considerations ensuring the best possible outcome for you and your family. Most transfers at divorce are tax-free events. It is critical to know the tax ramifications of all the divorce decisions you make including property division, child support, and maintenance. Using sophisticated tax software, we help clients determine the actual tax consequences when comparing different options involving both support and dividing property so that you can make truly informed decisions.