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Prior to actually making important decisions regarding the division of your property, it is important to have before you a complete inventory of all of your property. Even if you feel that you have no property to divide, you should complete the forms in this kit to ensure that your marital settlement agreement properly addresses all the issues.

This packet includes:
(1) Instructions and information on factors to consider in property divisions.
(2) Property Checklist - provides a list of documents which should be assembled when arranging for marital property distribution.
(3) Property Questionnaire - covers your basic personal information and also details the history of your marriage.
(4) Property Division Worksheet - will help you make certain decisions regarding the value and division of your property.

State Law Compliance: Designed for use in all states.
This is the content of the form and is provided for your convenience. It is not necessarily what the actual form looks like and does not include the information, instructions and other materials that come with the form you would purchase. An actual sample can also be viewed by clicking on the "Sample Form" near the top left of this page.









Divorce
Property Worksheets Kit







This Packet Includes:
1. Information
2. Step-by-Step Instructions
3. Factors for Consideration in Property Divisions
4. Property Checklist  provides a list of documents which should be assembled when arranging for marital property distribution
5. Property Questionnaire  covers your basic personal information and also details the history of your marriage
6. Property Division Worksheet  will help you make certain decisions regarding the value and division of your property





Information
Divorce - Property Worksheets Kit

Prior to actually making important decisions regarding the division of your property, it is important to have before you a complete inventory of all of your property. Even if you feel that you have no property to divide, you should complete the forms in this kit to ensure that your marital settlement agreement properly addresses all of the relevant issues.





Step-by-Step Instructions
Divorce - Property Worksheets Kit

   In the course of your attempts to reach a marital settlement agreement with your spouse, the division of your property is one of most likely areas in which arguments may arise. As the change to no-fault divorce has essentially removed the relevance of marital misconduct from consideration, many spouses are unable to vent their hostilities regarding the faults of their spouse during the course of a modern divorce proceeding. Thus, there may often be a tendency to attempt to bring anger and animosity to bear on the other areas left to resolve in a divorce settlement. This, however, is not a productive manner in which to approach the division of you and your spouses property. As much as is possible, you should attempt to keep the discussion of the division of your property on an amicable level. The division of your marital property may be the most important economic event of your lives, and should be dealt with in a mature and businesslike manner.

   Prior to actually making the important decisions regarding the division of your property, it is important to have before you a complete inventory of all of your property. Even if you feel that you have no property to divide, in order to make sure that your marital settlement agreement covers all of your property, you should fill out the following questionnaire. It is very easy to overlook certain types of property. In order to try to list every possible type of property, this questionnaire is very comprehensive. Many of the listings may not apply to your particular situation. Fill in only those areas which apply. Each spouse should fully answer as many of the questions that he or she is able to. You should include everything that you and your spouse own or owe money on. This is a big task but it is crucial in understanding and properly dividing your possessions and obligations in a fair manner.

   Following the questionnaire is a property document checklist for assembling those documents necessary for valuing and dividing your property.

   After the questionnaire and document list, there is a property division worksheet on which you will list the property that each spouse will retain.  Both of you will need to prepare one of these forms for attachment to your completed marital settlement agreement.

   SPECIFIC INTRUCTIONS:



     Property Questionnaire



   By filling in the questionnaire you will be able to have in front of you all of the necessary and relevant information for preparing a marital settlement agreement or completing any necessary paperwork for your divorce filing.

   Property Document Checklist

   The documents listed on the checklist should be assembled for use in understanding and arranging for the distribution of your property.  This list is comprehensive and not all of the documents listed will apply to your particular circumstances.  It is, however, important for you and your spouse to assemble all of the documents that do relate to your situation in order that you will both be fully aware of the details and nature of all of your property.  Next to each document, note who has the document and where it is currently located.  If your spouse refuses to supply you with any of the important property documents, you may need to seek the aid of an attorney in order to protect any rights that you may have to property or assets that your spouse may be attempting to conceal.

   Property Division Worksheet

   You and your spouse should use the Property Questionnaire to examine your total property holdings.  Then by using the following Worksheet, you will be able to clearly and fairly decide who will get which pieces of property.

   The first step in filling in your Worksheet should be to list the property that you both agree is the separate property of each.  For this worksheet, we will use the term separate to mean that property that you and your spouse agree is not to be subject to division, either because of your states law on the matter or simply because of your agreement as such.  Generally, this is property that either of you owned prior to your marriage and any property that either of you acquired by gift or inheritance.

   The next step will be to list, in the general areas provided, the type and value of all of your marital property.  For the purpose of this worksheet, the term marital property will be used to refer to all property that you and your spouse agree should be subject to division.  This should include all of your property that is not listed in the separate property section.  At this same time, you should make a general listing of all of the bills that you and your spouse have accumulated.  These, too, will need to be divided.



   The next step will generally be the most difficult. You will need to divide all of the listed marital property and bills into two equal or equitable shares.  Certain pieces of property will not be easily subject to division. For those, there are various ways to reach a fair settlement. If one spouse truly desires the property, other property or cash may be traded for the property sought in order to essentially equalize the division. If an agreement cannot be reached on a particular piece of property, the property can be sold and the proceeds simply divided in half.  If a specific value cannot be readily attached to a particular piece of property, it is wise to have an independent appraisal made of the property.







Factors for Consideration in Property Divisions

In most states, there is a list of factors provided in the statutes for the judge to use in making any property distribution decisions. These factors are present in both “community property” and “equitable distribution” states. Each state is free to allow its judges to consider what has been determined to be relevant factors in dividing the property.

Each factor carries no specific weight in the decisions to be made. In no state is a particular preference given to each factor. Rather, the list of factors is to be used as a guideline to balance the contributions of each spouse and attempt to arrive at a fair division of the couples property.

Recently, there have been some substantial changes in what factors are considered relevant in dividing a couples property. Marital fault is no longer a factor for consideration in most states. Adultery, desertion, cruelty and other marital faults have no bearing on property decisions in a majority of states. However, in many states (even those which do not consider marital fault) economic misconduct continues to be a factor. Economic misconduct is generally viewed as one spouse attempting to hide any property from the other spouse, dissipating joint assets, cleaning out joint bank accounts and keeping the money, running up major joint bills in anticipation of divorce, or other such vengeful acts.

It is wise to close all of your joint bank accounts and cancel all joint credit cards upon your separation. This, however, should be a joint decision. The obligations and proceeds of these joint accounts will then be dealt with in your settlement agreement. If you do not trust your spouse enough to discuss the closing of a joint account, or if you fear that your spouse may attempt to clean out your accounts, you will probably not be able to cooperate enough to reach a marital settlement agreement without the aid of a lawyer or mediator. Do not try to hide or conceal any of the assets that belong to both you and your spouse. If your divorce ends up contested and before a judge, you will be required to account for these assets. Such economic misconduct may influence your right to property and support.



In order to attempt to equalize the treatment of homemakers and spouses who give primary care to a couples children, the efforts of a spouse in caring for children and homemaking are now specifically being considered as a relevant factor in a majority of states. The career and economic sacrifices that one spouse has made to put the other through school is also increasingly being considered as a factor in property divisions.



The trend is for the consideration of any relevant factors which have accounted for the economic contributions to the marriage, whether such contributions are tangible (wages, salary, etc.) or intangible (homemaking, child care, career sacrifices, etc.). The tax consequences of your property division may also be an important factor.
Other relevant factors which may be considered in the division of property:

?   The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of the marital property, including the contribution of each spouse as homemaker;
?   The length of the marriage;
?   The age and health of each spouse;
?   The value of each spouses separate property;
?   Any increase or decrease in the value of the separate property of each spouse during the marriage;
?   Any depletion of a spouses separate property for marital purposes;
?   The economic circumstances of each spouse at the time the division of property is to become effective;
?   The amount of alimony that either spouse may be awarded;
?   The occupation and vocational skills of each spouse;
?   The income and liabilities of each spouse;
?   The employability of each spouse;
?   The opportunity of each spouse for further acquisition of capital assets and income;
?   The time necessary for either spouse to acquire sufficient education to enable the spouse to find appropriate employment;
?   The present and potential earning capacity of each spouse;
?   The presence of any retirement benefits, including social security, civil service, military and railroad retirement benefits;
?   Any child care or child support burdens;
?   The standard of living of both spouses during the marriage;
?   The tax consequences of the property division;
?   How and by whom the property was acquired;
?   The economic needs of each spouse; and
?   Any other relevant factor.?



As you can see from the above list, the division of property is generally considered to be interrelated to any provisions for alimony and child support. As you work through your marital settlement agreement with your spouse, realize that all of the provisions that you discuss relate to each other. For your agreement to be a success in eliminating discord from your divorce, it must be a careful balance of all factors and considerations. In short, it must be fair to both you and your spouse.



How each of these factors should be taken into account is up to you and your spouse. What is important to understand is that these detailed factors for consideration were developed in an effort to somewhat quantify the process of property distribution for judges who knew little or nothing about a couples actual circumstances. They are used as an outline for the presentation of evidence to courts in an effort to show that certain elements of a couples life together should have a bearing on how their property is divided on divorce.



If the property settlement discussions can be kept on a rational and mature level, you and your spouse are in a far better position to determine how these factors should affect your agreement on the division of property.


Considerations Regarding Specific Property

Regardless of what type of property division system your state uses, certain properties require individual consideration. Specific types of property will be discussed below.

The Family Home

For most people, a home is, by far, their most important possession. Any attempt to divide a single home between two divorcing spouses will be difficult. Many different factors will influence your ultimate decision on how to account for your home.

The first thing you will need to know is the current market value of the home. You can determine this by the use of a professional real estate appraisal. If you have not owned the home for very long, local real estate brokers may be able to give you a good indication of its current market value. Once you know the market value, you must subtract how much is still owed on the mortgage or trust deed (including any amounts owed on second mortgages or home-equity loans) in order to determine the “equity” in the home.

For example, if your home is appraised at $50,000 and your mortgage balance is $35,000, then the “equity” in your home is $15,000. It is the equity value of any property that you will be dividing with your spouse.

By using the above example, we can examine the various ways to deal with the division of a house. In general, there are two main methods by which to deal with a family home.



First, the simplest method of dealing with the division of the home is to sell it and divide the net proceeds. In the example above, a couple might sell the $50,000 home, pay off the mortgage, and have a gross profit of $15,000. Out of this would come any real estate commission, usually about 7% or $3,500. This would leave a net profit of $11,500. Divided equally, each spouse would receive $5,750 from the sale and division of their home. There will also usually be tax consequences to the sale of your home and any tax liabilities should be considered and shared in an equal manner.



Next, you may wish for one spouse to keep the home. If there are minor children who have lived in the home, serious consideration should be given to finding a method of division which will allow the spouse who retains physical custody of the children to remain in the family home. This is highly favored by most judges and is generally considered to be in the best interests of the children. In addition, it lessens the severe economic burdens that may be placed on the spouse with custody. Although it may seem one-sided for one spouse to have custody of the children and to have possession of the family home, in reality in nearly every divorce situation involving children, it is the spouse without custody who fares better economically.

Whether there are children or not, you may decide that one of the spouses will retain possession of the house. To accomplish this, there are several standard methods. First, title to the home may be transferred to the spouse who wishes to retain possession. When there are children, this will normally be the spouse with physical custody. This transfer is generally made in a trade or exchange for something worth the one-half value of the equity of the home. Again, using the example above, if the equity of the home is $15,000, and the home is to be transferred to one spouse, the other spouse should receive a trade-off of cash or property worth $7,500. This trade can be accomplished in a number of ways. If there is sufficient cash or property available, it is a relatively simple matter.

Two other methods may be: (1) for the spouse retaining possession to take out a second mortgage and pay off the other spouse from the proceeds; and (2) for the spouse retaining possession to give the other spouse a note for payment of the one-half equity interest and either defer payment until the house is sold, make payments directly to the other spouse, or agree to pay off the note when the children are grown. Marital settlement agreement clauses relating to these rather complex methods are not included in this book. A real estate professional or an attorney should be consulted for assistance in structuring these particular deals.



Another less common method would be for both spouses to retain shared ownership of the home as tenants-in-common, with the spouse with the children retaining possession. An agreement allowing possession until the children are grown and an agreement on when the home will be sold should be reached if this method is chosen. Because of the continuing joint ownership under this method, it is more likely to cause later problems and is therefore less favored and no settlement agreement clauses for use in this situation are included.



To transfer the ownership of the home to one spouse, a deed (usually a quitclaim deed) will be necessary. To transfer the title from joint marital ownership (usually referred to on the deed as “joint tenancy with right of survivorship” or “tenancy-by-the-entireties”) to a third party upon a sale of the home will generally require a warranty deed. If there is to be a note taken back by one spouse (where one spouse agrees to pay the other for his or her share of the home), this should be secured by a Deed of Trust or Mortgage. Any deeds or mortgages must be recorded in the office of your county recorder. For assistance in transferring real estate, you may wish to use a real estate broker, title or escrow company, attorney, or bank.

Retirement and Pension Plans

A majority of states now consider the value of benefits in retirement and pension plans which were accumulated during a marriage to specifically be subject to division by the court upon divorce. Realistically, if the benefits were earned during the course of the marriage, there is no reason why such benefits should not be considered as part of a spouses income or assets which should be shared with the other spouse. The most difficult aspect of attempting to divide the value of a pension or retirement plan is actually determining what the actual present value is. There are many different types of pension plans and each may have a slightly different method for determining what benefits are available and when they are due.

Some common retirement arrangements are:

?   Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs);
?   Self-Employed Persons Individual Retirement Account (SEP-IRAs);
?   HR-10 Retirement Plans (KEOGHs);
?   IRS 401(K) Retirement Plans;
?   Tax Sheltered Annuities (TSAs);
?   Employee Stock Option Plans (ESOPs);

In order to determine a plans value for division, an estimate of the current value of benefits that accrued during your marriage is necessary. The assistance of the administrators of the plan will probably be necessary to determine how much money was contributed and when the contributions were made. You may also ask them to give you an estimate of the current value of the plan or tell you how much would be due if the plan was immediately terminated. For an actual detailed valuation, a professional actuary skilled in pensions, an accountant, CPA, or an attorney may be necessary.





If you have not been married for very long, the value of the retirement plan may be very little and a rough estimate of its value may be used for purposes of division. If, however, you have been married for a considerable time and you or your spouse have substantial contributions to retirement funds or pension plans, you should get expert assistance in valuing these funds. For many older Americans, the value of pension or retirement funds may be the largest single asset that they own.

If you feel that the value of your share of your spouses pension or retirement plan may be significant or you are unable to accurately value the benefits, you may wish to consult an attorney to be certain that you do not lose any rights to this benefit. If the value of the plan can be ascertained, division of the benefits can be accomplished by trade-off. Since a retirement plan is very difficult to divide without actually terminating it and cashing it in, the easiest method for division is for the spouse who owns it to retain the full interest in the plan. If there is a family home, the spouse retaining the home may trade his or her share of the pension plan for the other spouses share of the home. If there are other assets available, these also may be used in a trade-off.

An example of a trade-off of retirement benefits would be as follows: Spouse A has benefits in a retirement plan which are valued at $5,000, and all of the benefits were earned while the couple was married. Spouse B has no retirement benefits. The only other property that the couple owns is a car worth $3,000 and which is fully paid off. They also have $2,000 in a joint bank account. The couples joint marital property, thus, is valued at $10,000 ($5,000 retirement benefits + $3,000 car + $2,000 cash = $10,000). Using an equal 50/50 division, each spouse should get $5,000 worth of their marital assets on divorce. Spouse A may retain his or her entire interest in the retirement fund by trading off his or her interests in the bank account and car. Spouse A would then retain the entire retirement fund ($5,000) and spouse B would keep the car and cash ($2,000 + $3,000 = $5,000).

Stock-option or Profit-sharing Plans



Like pension and retirement funds, these assets are a clear benefit accrued as a result of a spouses employment. If you or your spouse were participants in such a plan during your marriage, the benefits that were earned during the marriage should be considered as property to be shared and divided. Again, the most difficult problem may be in determining the value of such benefits. With most of these type of plans, however, the value should be easier to ascertain than with pension plans. Check with the employer or administrator of the plan for assistance in determining the value of the benefits that accrued to the spouse during the time of the marriage. The value of any such plans should then be included in the total amount of marital property which is available for division.




Social Security Benefits

Social Security benefits are not community or marital property and are not subject to division by a court upon divorce. They are federal benefits and are not governed by state law. You will need to contact your local Social Security office to determine your rights to benefits after divorce. If you have been married for 10 years or more, you will have a right to Social Security benefits that accrued during your marriage even though you become divorced. You will also generally be eligible for Social Security survivor benefits if you and your spouse have been married for at least 10 years. If you are approaching being married for 10 years, be aware that divorce from your spouse before you reach the 10-year deadline may cost you significant Social Security benefits.

In addition, even though Social Security benefits are not subject to division in a divorce, the value of such benefits may be taken into account in any considerations regarding the amount of alimony or property to be allocated to a spouse.

Military and Federal Pensions and Benefits

Although military retirement pensions and federal civil service annuity benefits are also federally administered, they are subject, in most cases, to division upon divorce. Military disability pay is not, however, subject to division upon divorce. For military retirement benefits, there is a requirement that your marriage has lasted 10 years in order to share in the benefits which have accrued to your spouse. In addition, certain other benefits (such as PX and commissary rights) will be retained on divorce if your marriage lasted through 20 years of military service.

If you or your spouse are currently in military service, you will probably need to seek legal advice in order to obtain a divorce. Many states have specific legal requirements that must be met in order to obtain a divorce from a person on active military service. If you or your spouse are no longer in the service, but have military benefits that accrued while you were both married, you will need to determine the value of these benefits in much the same manner as outlined above in the section on pension and retirement plans. You will need to contact the agency or service branch which administers the plan or benefits.

As with standard retirement benefits, an actual division of military and federal benefits will generally be difficult. A trade-off for something of equivalent value is typically the most effective method for dealing with such benefits.


Cars and Other Vehicles



The division of cars may be accomplished by selling the vehicle and dividing the proceeds, or by a trade-off of one spouses share of the cars value. For the trade-off method, first determine the equity value of the car. This is determined by subtracting the amount owed on the car from its current market value. You can check with a car dealer or bank to find approximate (Blue Book) values of cars or trucks. The equity value should then be divided between the spouses. If you or your spouse desire to keep the car, a trade of something of a value equal to the other spouses share must be made. Transfer of title and registration (license plates) should then be made to the spouse who will retain the vehicle.

Educational Degrees

Many states now consider the value of a professional educational degree which was earned during the marriage to be part of the marital or community property and subject to division. The rationale behind this is that, in many cases, the spouse who did not earn the degree has sacrificed important career or educational opportunities of his or her own in order to assist the other spouse in earning the degree. The intention of most couples in such a situation was that the spouse who earned the degree would then be in a better position to bring income into the family. Upon divorce and in order to equalize the potential earning power of the degree-holder with that of the spouse who made the sacrifices for the attainment of the others degree, a value is placed on the degree and it is considered as property to be divided. It is, however, very difficult to place a specific value on the future earning potential value which is directly traceable to a particular professional degree. If you feel that the value of a professional degree is an important factor in your particular situation, it may be prudent to seek professional assistance from either a qualified accountant or attorney








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Property Questionnaire

Real Estate:
Family Home:
Do you lease a home or apartment?    ____________________________________
      If (YES): How much time is left on the lease? _______________________
Do you own your own home? __________________________________________
      If (YES): What is the address? ____________________________________
When was it purchased? _______________________________________________
      (Was this before or during the marriage?) ___________________________
Whose money was used for down payment?    _______________________________
Whose name(s) is on the deed? __________________________________________
How much was the down payment?     $    
What was the original purchase price?    $    
What is the present market value?    $    
How much is left unpaid on the mortgage?   $    
What is the equity (market value minus mortgage balance)?    $    
How much is the monthly mortgage payment?   $    
How much are the taxes?    $    
How much is the homeowners insurance?    $    
Have there been any major improvements made since its purchase? ____________
      (If YES): When were the improvements made? _____________________
      How much did they cost?    $    
      Whose money was used? ________________________________________
Here list the actual legal description of the home (taken directly off the deed or mortgage):
   ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Other Real Estate #1:
What is the address?    ______________________________________________________
When was it purchased? ____________________________________________________
      (Was this before or during the marriage?) __________________________
Whose money was used for down payment?    ______________________________
Whose name(s) is on the deed? _________________________________________
How much was the down payment?     $    
What was the original purchase price?    $    
What is the present market value?    $    
How much is left unpaid on the mortgage?   $    
What is the equity (market value minus mortgage balance)?    $    
How much is the monthly mortgage payment?   $    
How much are the taxes?    $    
How much is the insurance?    $    
Is there any rental income?    $    
Have there been any major improvements made since its purchase? ____________
      (If YES): When were the improvements made? _____________________
      How much did they cost?    $    
      Whose money was used? ________________________________________
   Here list the actual legal description of the home (taken directly off the deed or mortgage): ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Other Real Estate #2:
What is the address?    ________________________________________________
When was it purchased? ______________________________________________
   (Was this before or during the marriage?) __________________________
Whose money was used for down payment?    ______________________________
Whose name(s) is on the deed? _________________________________________
How much was the down payment?     $    
What was the original purchase price?    $    
What is the present market value?    $    
How much is left unpaid on the mortgage?   $    
What is the equity (market value minus mortgage balance)?    $    
How much is the monthly mortgage payment?   $    
How much are the taxes?    $    
How much is the insurance?    $    
Is there any rental income?    $    
Have there been any major improvements made since its purchase? ____________
   (If YES): When were the improvements made? ______________________
      How much did they cost?    $    
      Whose money was used? _______________________________________
   Here list the actual legal description of the home (taken directly off the deed or mortgage): ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Personal Property: (The term “owner” refers to the person in whose name the account, stock, bond, etc. is held. If jointly held, write “joint”.)
Bank Accounts:
   Savings:
   Bank _________________________ Account # _________________________
   Owner    ________________________ Amount $ _________________________

   Bank _________________________ Account # _________________________
   Owner    ________________________ Amount $ _________________________

   Checking:
   Bank _________________________ Account # _________________________
   Owner    ________________________ Amount $ _________________________

   Bank _________________________ Account # _________________________
   Owner    ________________________ Amount $ _________________________
   

   Certificates of Deposit:
   Bank _________________________ Account # _________________________
   Owner    ________________________ Amount $ _________________________

   Bank _________________________ Account # _________________________
   Owner    ________________________ Amount $ _________________________
   
   Money Market Accounts:
   Bank _________________________ Account # _________________________
   Owner    ________________________ Amount $ _________________________

   Bank _________________________ Account # _________________________
   Owner    ________________________Amount $ _________________________

Stocks:
Company _________________________ CUSIP # _________________________
   Owner  ______________________ # Shares _________________________
   Annual Dividend $ _____________ Value $ _________________________

Company _________________________ CUSIP # _________________________
   Owner  ______________________ # Shares _________________________
   Annual Dividend $ _____________ Value $ _________________________

Company _________________________ CUSIP # _________________________
   Owner  ______________________ # Shares _________________________
   Annual Dividend $ _____________ Value $ _________________________

Company _________________________ CUSIP # _________________________
   Owner  ______________________ # Shares _________________________
   Annual Dividend $ _____________ Value $ _________________________

Bonds:
Company _________________________ CUSIP # _________________________
   Owner  ______________________ # Shares _________________________
   Annual Dividend $ _____________ Value $ _________________________

Company _________________________ CUSIP # _________________________
   Owner  ______________________ # Shares _________________________
   Annual Dividend $ _____________ Value $ _________________________

Company _________________________ CUSIP # _________________________
   Owner  ______________________ # Shares _________________________
   Annual Dividend $ _____________ Value $ _________________________

Company _________________________ CUSIP # _________________________
   Owner  ______________________ # Shares _________________________
   Annual Dividend $ _____________ Value $ _________________________

Names and addresses of you and your spouses stockbrokers:
   __________________________________________________________________
   __________________________________________________________________

Income Tax:
   Did you file a joint return for the last tax year? ____________________________
   Is there a tax or refund due?    __________________________________________
      How much State?    $    
      How much Federal?    $    
      How much Local?    $    

Other personal property:
Car #1: Year    __________________ Make and model ______________________
Who has possession?    ____________ Whose name on title? __________________
License plate # and state: _____________________ Payment $ _______________
Amount of car loan unpaid $    __________________ Value $ _________________

Car #2: Year    __________________ Make and model ______________________
Who has possession?    ____________ Whose name on title? __________________
License plate # and state: _____________________ Payment $ _______________
Amount of car loan unpaid $    __________________ Value $ _________________

    Other vehicles (boats, campers, motorcycles,  etc): describe _________________
   Who has possession?     _________________ Value $ _________________

    Stereo: describe ____________________________________________________
   Who has possession?    _________________ Value $ _________________

    Jewelry: describe ___________________________________________________
   Who has possession?    _________________ Value $ _________________
 
    Tools: describe _____________________________________________________
   Who has possession?     _________________Value $ _________________

    Sporting Goods: describe _____________________________________________
   Who has possession?    _________________ Value $ _________________

    Furniture: describe __________________________________________________
   Who has possession?    _________________ Value $ _________________

    Appliances: describe    ________________________________________________
   Who has possession?    _________________ Value $ _________________

    Other property: describe _____________________________________________
   Who has possession?    _________________ Value $ _________________

    Other property: describe _____________________________________________
   Who has possession? _________________Value $ _________________

Business Assets: (Corporations, Partnerships, Proprietorships)
   Description: _______________________________________________________
   Location: _________________________________________________________
   Who has ownership?    ________________________ Value $ ________________
   Description: _______________________________________________________
   Location: _________________________________________________________
   Who has ownership?    ________________________ Value $ ________________


Retirement/Pension/Profit-sharing/Stock Option Plans:

IRA Accounts:
Bank or broker _______________________ Account # ____________________   
Owner    ________________________ Amount $ __________________________

Bank or broker _______________________ Account # ____________________   
Owner    ________________________ Amount $ __________________________

Bank or broker _______________________ Account # ____________________   
Owner    ________________________ Amount $ __________________________

Retirement Funds:
Company ___________________________ Account # _____________________   
Whose fund?    _______________________ Value $ _______________________

Profit-sharing Plan:
Company ___________________________ Account # _____________________   
Whose fund?    _______________________ Value $ _______________________

Stock Option Plan:
Company ___________________________ Account # _____________________   
Whose fund?    _______________________ Value $ _______________________

Pension Plan:
Company ___________________________ Account # _____________________   
Whose fund?    _______________________ Value $ _______________________

Insurance:
Life Insurance:
Company: _________________________________________________________
On whose life:  _______________________ Beneficiary: ___________________
Premium: $ __________________________ Cash Value $ _____________

Company: _________________________________________________________
On whose life:  _______________________ Beneficiary: ___________________
Premium: $ __________________________ Cash Value $ _____________
(On children)    Company:_____________________________________________
On whose life:  _______________________ Beneficiary: ___________________
Premium: $ __________________________ Cash Value $ _____________

Medical Insurance:
Company: ___________________________ Amount $ _____________________
On whom: ___________________________ Premium: $ ________________

Company: ___________________________ Amount $ _____________________
On whom: ___________________________ Premium: $ ________________

(On children) Company: ________________ Amount $ ____________________
On whom: ___________________________ Premium: $ ________________

Disability Insurance:
Company: ___________________________ Amount $ _____________________
On whom: ___________________________ Premium: $ _________________

Company: ___________________________ Amount $ _____________________
On whom: ___________________________ Premium: $ _________________

Auto Insurance:
Company: ___________________________ Amount $ _____________________
Which car?: __________________________ Premium: $ _________________

Company: ___________________________ Amount $ _____________________
Which car?: __________________________ Premium: $ _________________

Homeowners Insurance:
Company: ___________________________ Amount $ _____________________   
Property address ______________________ Premium: $ ___________________

Other Insurance:
Company: ___________________________ Amount $ _____________________
What purpose? _______________________ Premium: $ ____________________

Separate Property: (The term “separate property” generally refers to the property that each spouse held individually prior to the marriage and any property acquired individually by each spouse by gift or inheritance. Please see pages 50-55).
Was the amount of separate personal property that you or your spouse owned at the time of your marriage valued at over $1,000? _____________________
If (YES): List all specific property owned prior to marriage that is still owned (note who owns each item and its value). List property here even if listed previously.
   Description __________________________________________________
   Owner    ________________________ Value $ ______________________

   Description _________________________________________________
   Owner    ________________________ Value $ ______________________

   Description __________________________________________________
   Owner    ________________________ Value $ ______________________

   Description __________________________________________________
   Owner    ________________________ Value $ ______________________

Was any of you or your spouses property received by gift or inheritance?    
If (YES): List all specific property received by gift or inheritance that is still owned (note who owns each item and its value). List property here even if listed previously.
   Description __________________________________________________
   Owner    ________________________ Value $ ______________________

   Description __________________________________________________
   Owner    ________________________ Value $ ______________________

   Description __________________________________________________
   Owner    ________________________ Value $ ______________________

   Description __________________________________________________
   Owner    ________________________ Value $ ______________________


Bills and Debts:
Credit Cards:
   Name of Company: ___________________________________________
   Reason for debt: ______________________________________________
   In whose name: ______________________________________________
   Monthly payment: $    ________ Balance due $ _____________________

   Name of Company: ___________________________________________
   Reason for debt: ______________________________________________
   In whose name: ______________________________________________
   Monthly payment: $    ________ Balance due $ _____________________

   Name of Company: ___________________________________________
   Reason for debt: ______________________________________________
   In whose name: ______________________________________________
   Monthly payment: $    ________ Balance due $ _____________________

   Name of Company: ___________________________________________
   Reason for debt: ______________________________________________
   In whose name: ______________________________________________
   Monthly payment: $    ________ Balance due $ _____________________

Other debts:
   Name of Company: ___________________________________________
   Reason for debt: ______________________________________________
   In whose name: ______________________________________________
   Monthly payment: $    ________ Balance due $ _____________________

   Name of Company: ___________________________________________
   Reason for debt: ______________________________________________
   In whose name: ______________________________________________
   Monthly payment: $    ________ Balance due $ _____________________


   
   Name of Company: ___________________________________________
   Reason for debt: ______________________________________________
   In whose name: ______________________________________________
   Monthly payment: $    ________ Balance due $ _____________________

   Name of Company: ___________________________________________
   Reason for debt: ______________________________________________
   In whose name: ______________________________________________
   Monthly payment: $    ________ Balance due $ _____________________

   Name of Company: ___________________________________________
   Reason for debt: ______________________________________________
   In whose name: ______________________________________________
   Monthly payment: $    ________ Balance due $ _____________________

   Name of Company: ___________________________________________
   Reason for debt: ______________________________________________
   In whose name: ______________________________________________
   Monthly payment: $    ________ Balance due $ _____________________   

   Name of Company: ___________________________________________
   Reason for debt: ______________________________________________
   In whose name: ______________________________________________
   Monthly payment: $    ________ Balance due $ _____________________

   Name of Company: ___________________________________________
   Reason for debt: ______________________________________________
   In whose name: ______________________________________________
   Monthly payment: $    ________ Balance due $ _____________________

   Name of Company: ___________________________________________
   Reason for debt: ______________________________________________
   In whose name: ______________________________________________
   Monthly payment: $    ________ Balance due $ _____________________


Property Document Checklist


r   Federal, state, and local income tax returns:
r   Payroll stubs and W-2 Forms:
r   Records regarding any other income:
r   Records regarding monthly living expenses:
r   Pension and retirement plan policies and records:
r   Stock option and profit sharing plans and records:
r   Business tax returns (Corporate, partnership, or sole proprietorship):
r   Business financial statements:
r   Deeds to any real estate:
r   Mortgages or deeds of trust for any real estate:
r   Copies of any leases:
r   Checking account statements:
r   Savings account statements and passbooks:
r   Certificates of Deposit:
r   Stock certificates and bonds:
r   Securities stockbroker account statements:
r   Titles to cars, boats, motorcycles, etc.:
r   Any outstanding loan documents:
r   Credit card records:
r   Records of any other debts:
r   Life insurance policies:
r   Health insurance policies:
r   Auto insurance policies:
r   Homeowners insurance policy:
r   Other insurance policies:
r   Inventory of contents of safety deposit boxes:
r   Appraisals of any property:
r   Records of any gifts or inheritances:
Property Division Worksheet

Separate Property of Spouse #1:       
   Description     Value $    
   Description     Value $    
   Description     Value $    
   Description     Value $    
   Description     Value $    
   Description     Value $    
   Description     Value $    
   Description     Value $    
   Description     Value $    
   Description     Value $    
   Description     Value $    
      
   Total of Separate Property (Spouse #1):     $   

Separate Property of Spouse #2:       
   Description     Value $   
   Description     Value $   
   Description     Value $   
   Description     Value $   
   Description     Value $   
   Description     Value $   
   Description     Value $   
   Description     Value $   
   Description     Value $   
   Description     Value $   
   Description     Value $   
      
   Total of Separate Property (Spouse #2):     $   

Marital Property of Both Spouses:
Real estate:    Value $    
Auto:           Value $    
Furniture:     Value $    
Cash:       Value $    
Auto:        Value $    
Jewelry:     Value $    
Tools:        Value $    
Other:       Value $    
Stocks:     Value $    
Bonds:     Value $    

   A.   Total Amount of Marital Property:     $    

Marital Bills and Obligations:
Creditor:     Balance $    
Creditor:     Balance $    
Creditor:     Balance $    
Creditor:     Balance $    
Creditor:     Balance $    
Creditor:     Balance $    
Creditor:     Balance $    

   B. Total Amount of Marital Bills:     $    

Value of Marital Property to be Divided:
   Total Amount of Marital Property (A):     $    
   Minus (-) Total Amount of Marital Bills (B):     $    
   Equals (=) Total Value to be Divided (C) [A - B = C]:    $   

   Approximate Value to Each (1/2 or C/2):     $   
Agreed Share of Marital Property and Bills for Each Spouse:
Spouse #1:       
Description:    Value: $   
Description:    Value: $   
Description:    Value: $   
Description:    Value: $   
Description:    Value: $   
Description:    Value: $   
Description:    Value: $   
Description:    Value: $   
Description:    Value: $   

      Total Marital Property Spouse #1:    $   

Spouse #2:    
Description:    Value: $   
Description:    Value: $   
Description:    Value: $   
Description:    Value: $   
Description:    Value: $   
Description:    Value: $   
Description:    Value: $   
Description:    Value: $   
Description:    Value: $   

      Total Marital Property Spouse #2:    $   
Number of Pages26
DimensionsDesigned for Letter Size (8.5" x 11")
EditableYes (.doc, .wpd and .rtf)
UsageUnlimited number of prints
Product number#22222
This is the content of the form and is provided for your convenience. It is not necessarily what the actual form looks like and does not include the information, instructions and other materials that come with the form you would purchase. An actual sample can also be viewed by clicking on the "Sample Form" near the top left of this page.









Divorce
Property Worksheets Kit







This Packet Includes:
1. Information
2. Step-by-Step Instructions
3. Factors for Consideration in Property Divisions
4. Property Checklist  provides a list of documents which should be assembled when arranging for marital property distribution
5. Property Questionnaire  covers your basic personal information and also details the history of your marriage
6. Property Division Worksheet  will help you make certain decisions regarding the value and division of your property





Information
Divorce - Property Worksheets Kit

Prior to actually making important decisions regarding the division of your property, it is important to have before you a complete inventory of all of your property. Even if you feel that you have no property to divide, you should complete the forms in this kit to ensure that your marital settlement agreement properly addresses all of the relevant issues.





Step-by-Step Instructions
Divorce - Property Worksheets Kit

   In the course of your attempts to reach a marital settlement agreement with your spouse, the division of your property is one of most likely areas in which arguments may arise. As the change to no-fault divorce has essentially removed the relevance of marital misconduct from consideration, many spouses are unable to vent their hostilities regarding the faults of their spouse during the course of a modern divorce proceeding. Thus, there may often be a tendency to attempt to bring anger and animosity to bear on the other areas left to resolve in a divorce settlement. This, however, is not a productive manner in which to approach the division of you and your spouses property. As much as is possible, you should attempt to keep the discussion of the division of your property on an amicable level. The division of your marital property may be the most important economic event of your lives, and should be dealt with in a mature and businesslike manner.

   Prior to actually making the important decisions regarding the division of your property, it is important to have before you a complete inventory of all of your property. Even if you feel that you have no property to divide, in order to make sure that your marital settlement agreement covers all of your property, you should fill out the following questionnaire. It is very easy to overlook certain types of property. In order to try to list every possible type of property, this questionnaire is very comprehensive. Many of the listings may not apply to your particular situation. Fill in only those areas which apply. Each spouse should fully answer as many of the questions that he or she is able to. You should include everything that you and your spouse own or owe money on. This is a big task but it is crucial in understanding and properly dividing your possessions and obligations in a fair manner.

   Following the questionnaire is a property document checklist for assembling those documents necessary for valuing and dividing your property.

   After the questionnaire and document list, there is a property division worksheet on which you will list the property that each spouse will retain.  Both of you will need to prepare one of these forms for attachment to your completed marital settlement agreement.

   SPECIFIC INTRUCTIONS:



     Property Questionnaire



   By filling in the questionnaire you will be able to have in front of you all of the necessary and relevant information for preparing a marital settlement agreement or completing any necessary paperwork for your divorce filing.

   Property Document Checklist

   The documents listed on the checklist should be assembled for use in understanding and arranging for the distribution of your property.  This list is comprehensive and not all of the documents listed will apply to your particular circumstances.  It is, however, important for you and your spouse to assemble all of the documents that do relate to your situation in order that you will both be fully aware of the details and nature of all of your property.  Next to each document, note who has the document and where it is currently located.  If your spouse refuses to supply you with any of the important property documents, you may need to seek the aid of an attorney in order to protect any rights that you may have to property or assets that your spouse may be attempting to conceal.

   Property Division Worksheet

   You and your spouse should use the Property Questionnaire to examine your total property holdings.  Then by using the following Worksheet, you will be able to clearly and fairly decide who will get which pieces of property.

   The first step in filling in your Worksheet should be to list the property that you both agree is the separate property of each.  For this worksheet, we will use the term separate to mean that property that you and your spouse agree is not to be subject to division, either because of your states law on the matter or simply because of your agreement as such.  Generally, this is property that either of you owned prior to your marriage and any property that either of you acquired by gift or inheritance.

   The next step will be to list, in the general areas provided, the type and value of all of your marital property.  For the purpose of this worksheet, the term marital property will be used to refer to all property that you and your spouse agree should be subject to division.  This should include all of your property that is not listed in the separate property section.  At this same time, you should make a general listing of all of the bills that you and your spouse have accumulated.  These, too, will need to be divided.



   The next step will generally be the most difficult. You will need to divide all of the listed marital property and bills into two equal or equitable shares.  Certain pieces of property will not be easily subject to division. For those, there are various ways to reach a fair settlement. If one spouse truly desires the property, other property or cash may be traded for the property sought in order to essentially equalize the division. If an agreement cannot be reached on a particular piece of property, the property can be sold and the proceeds simply divided in half.  If a specific value cannot be readily attached to a particular piece of property, it is wise to have an independent appraisal made of the property.







Factors for Consideration in Property Divisions

In most states, there is a list of factors provided in the statutes for the judge to use in making any property distribution decisions. These factors are present in both “community property” and “equitable distribution” states. Each state is free to allow its judges to consider what has been determined to be relevant factors in dividing the property.

Each factor carries no specific weight in the decisions to be made. In no state is a particular preference given to each factor. Rather, the list of factors is to be used as a guideline to balance the contributions of each spouse and attempt to arrive at a fair division of the couples property.

Recently, there have been some substantial changes in what factors are considered relevant in dividing a couples property. Marital fault is no longer a factor for consideration in most states. Adultery, desertion, cruelty and other marital faults have no bearing on property decisions in a majority of states. However, in many states (even those which do not consider marital fault) economic misconduct continues to be a factor. Economic misconduct is generally viewed as one spouse attempting to hide any property from the other spouse, dissipating joint assets, cleaning out joint bank accounts and keeping the money, running up major joint bills in anticipation of divorce, or other such vengeful acts.

It is wise to close all of your joint bank accounts and cancel all joint credit cards upon your separation. This, however, should be a joint decision. The obligations and proceeds of these joint accounts will then be dealt with in your settlement agreement. If you do not trust your spouse enough to discuss the closing of a joint account, or if you fear that your spouse may attempt to clean out your accounts, you will probably not be able to cooperate enough to reach a marital settlement agreement without the aid of a lawyer or mediator. Do not try to hide or conceal any of the assets that belong to both you and your spouse. If your divorce ends up contested and before a judge, you will be required to account for these assets. Such economic misconduct may influence your right to property and support.



In order to attempt to equalize the treatment of homemakers and spouses who give primary care to a couples children, the efforts of a spouse in caring for children and homemaking are now specifically being considered as a relevant factor in a majority of states. The career and economic sacrifices that one spouse has made to put the other through school is also increasingly being considered as a factor in property divisions.



The trend is for the consideration of any relevant factors which have accounted for the economic contributions to the marriage, whether such contributions are tangible (wages, salary, etc.) or intangible (homemaking, child care, career sacrifices, etc.). The tax consequences of your property division may also be an important factor.
Other relevant factors which may be considered in the division of property:

?   The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of the marital property, including the contribution of each spouse as homemaker;
?   The length of the marriage;
?   The age and health of each spouse;
?   The value of each spouses separate property;
?   Any increase or decrease in the value of the separate property of each spouse during the marriage;
?   Any depletion of a spouses separate property for marital purposes;
?   The economic circumstances of each spouse at the time the division of property is to become effective;
?   The amount of alimony that either spouse may be awarded;
?   The occupation and vocational skills of each spouse;
?   The income and liabilities of each spouse;
?   The employability of each spouse;
?   The opportunity of each spouse for further acquisition of capital assets and income;
?   The time necessary for either spouse to acquire sufficient education to enable the spouse to find appropriate employment;
?   The present and potential earning capacity of each spouse;
?   The presence of any retirement benefits, including social security, civil service, military and railroad retirement benefits;
?   Any child care or child support burdens;
?   The standard of living of both spouses during the marriage;
?   The tax consequences of the property division;
?   How and by whom the property was acquired;
?   The economic needs of each spouse; and
?   Any other relevant factor.?



As you can see from the above list, the division of property is generally considered to be interrelated to any provisions for alimony and child support. As you work through your marital settlement agreement with your spouse, realize that all of the provisions that you discuss relate to each other. For your agreement to be a success in eliminating discord from your divorce, it must be a careful balance of all factors and considerations. In short, it must be fair to both you and your spouse.



How each of these factors should be taken into account is up to you and your spouse. What is important to understand is that these detailed factors for consideration were developed in an effort to somewhat quantify the process of property distribution for judges who knew little or nothing about a couples actual circumstances. They are used as an outline for the presentation of evidence to courts in an effort to show that certain elements of a couples life together should have a bearing on how their property is divided on divorce.



If the property settlement discussions can be kept on a rational and mature level, you and your spouse are in a far better position to determine how these factors should affect your agreement on the division of property.


Considerations Regarding Specific Property

Regardless of what type of property division system your state uses, certain properties require individual consideration. Specific types of property will be discussed below.

The Family Home

For most people, a home is, by far, their most important possession. Any attempt to divide a single home between two divorcing spouses will be difficult. Many different factors will influence your ultimate decision on how to account for your home.

The first thing you will need to know is the current market value of the home. You can determine this by the use of a professional real estate appraisal. If you have not owned the home for very long, local real estate brokers may be able to give you a good indication of its current market value. Once you know the market value, you must subtract how much is still owed on the mortgage or trust deed (including any amounts owed on second mortgages or home-equity loans) in order to determine the “equity” in the home.

For example, if your home is appraised at $50,000 and your mortgage balance is $35,000, then the “equity” in your home is $15,000. It is the equity value of any property that you will be dividing with your spouse.

By using the above example, we can examine the various ways to deal with the division of a house. In general, there are two main methods by which to deal with a family home.



First, the simplest method of dealing with the division of the home is to sell it and divide the net proceeds. In the example above, a couple might sell the $50,000 home, pay off the mortgage, and have a gross profit of $15,000. Out of this would come any real estate commission, usually about 7% or $3,500. This would leave a net profit of $11,500. Divided equally, each spouse would receive $5,750 from the sale and division of their home. There will also usually be tax consequences to the sale of your home and any tax liabilities should be considered and shared in an equal manner.



Next, you may wish for one spouse to keep the home. If there are minor children who have lived in the home, serious consideration should be given to finding a method of division which will allow the spouse who retains physical custody of the children to remain in the family home. This is highly favored by most judges and is generally considered to be in the best interests of the children. In addition, it lessens the severe economic burdens that may be placed on the spouse with custody. Although it may seem one-sided for one spouse to have custody of the children and to have possession of the family home, in reality in nearly every divorce situation involving children, it is the spouse without custody who fares better economically.

Whether there are children or not, you may decide that one of the spouses will retain possession of the house. To accomplish this, there are several standard methods. First, title to the home may be transferred to the spouse who wishes to retain possession. When there are children, this will normally be the spouse with physical custody. This transfer is generally made in a trade or exchange for something worth the one-half value of the equity of the home. Again, using the example above, if the equity of the home is $15,000, and the home is to be transferred to one spouse, the other spouse should receive a trade-off of cash or property worth $7,500. This trade can be accomplished in a number of ways. If there is sufficient cash or property available, it is a relatively simple matter.

Two other methods may be: (1) for the spouse retaining possession to take out a second mortgage and pay off the other spouse from the proceeds; and (2) for the spouse retaining possession to give the other spouse a note for payment of the one-half equity interest and either defer payment until the house is sold, make payments directly to the other spouse, or agree to pay off the note when the children are grown. Marital settlement agreement clauses relating to these rather complex methods are not included in this book. A real estate professional or an attorney should be consulted for assistance in structuring these particular deals.



Another less common method would be for both spouses to retain shared ownership of the home as tenants-in-common, with the spouse with the children retaining possession. An agreement allowing possession until the children are grown and an agreement on when the home will be sold should be reached if this method is chosen. Because of the continuing joint ownership under this method, it is more likely to cause later problems and is therefore less favored and no settlement agreement clauses for use in this situation are included.



To transfer the ownership of the home to one spouse, a deed (usually a quitclaim deed) will be necessary. To transfer the title from joint marital ownership (usually referred to on the deed as “joint tenancy with right of survivorship” or “tenancy-by-the-entireties”) to a third party upon a sale of the home will generally require a warranty deed. If there is to be a note taken back by one spouse (where one spouse agrees to pay the other for his or her share of the home), this should be secured by a Deed of Trust or Mortgage. Any deeds or mortgages must be recorded in the office of your county recorder. For assistance in transferring real estate, you may wish to use a real estate broker, title or escrow company, attorney, or bank.

Retirement and Pension Plans

A majority of states now consider the value of benefits in retirement and pension plans which were accumulated during a marriage to specifically be subject to division by the court upon divorce. Realistically, if the benefits were earned during the course of the marriage, there is no reason why such benefits should not be considered as part of a spouses income or assets which should be shared with the other spouse. The most difficult aspect of attempting to divide the value of a pension or retirement plan is actually determining what the actual present value is. There are many different types of pension plans and each may have a slightly different method for determining what benefits are available and when they are due.

Some common retirement arrangements are:

?   Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs);
?   Self-Employed Persons Individual Retirement Account (SEP-IRAs);
?   HR-10 Retirement Plans (KEOGHs);
?   IRS 401(K) Retirement Plans;
?   Tax Sheltered Annuities (TSAs);
?   Employee Stock Option Plans (ESOPs);

In order to determine a plans value for division, an estimate of the current value of benefits that accrued during your marriage is necessary. The assistance of the administrators of the plan will probably be necessary to determine how much money was contributed and when the contributions were made. You may also ask them to give you an estimate of the current value of the plan or tell you how much would be due if the plan was immediately terminated. For an actual detailed valuation, a professional actuary skilled in pensions, an accountant, CPA, or an attorney may be necessary.





If you have not been married for very long, the value of the retirement plan may be very little and a rough estimate of its value may be used for purposes of division. If, however, you have been married for a considerable time and you or your spouse have substantial contributions to retirement funds or pension plans, you should get expert assistance in valuing these funds. For many older Americans, the value of pension or retirement funds may be the largest single asset that they own.

If you feel that the value of your share of your spouses pension or retirement plan may be significant or you are unable to accurately value the benefits, you may wish to consult an attorney to be certain that you do not lose any rights to this benefit. If the value of the plan can be ascertained, division of the benefits can be accomplished by trade-off. Since a retirement plan is very difficult to divide without actually terminating it and cashing it in, the easiest method for division is for the spouse who owns it to retain the full interest in the plan. If there is a family home, the spouse retaining the home may trade his or her share of the pension plan for the other spouses share of the home. If there are other assets available, these also may be used in a trade-off.

An example of a trade-off of retirement benefits would be as follows: Spouse A has benefits in a retirement plan which are valued at $5,000, and all of the benefits were earned while the couple was married. Spouse B has no retirement benefits. The only other property that the couple owns is a car worth $3,000 and which is fully paid off. They also have $2,000 in a joint bank account. The couples joint marital property, thus, is valued at $10,000 ($5,000 retirement benefits + $3,000 car + $2,000 cash = $10,000). Using an equal 50/50 division, each spouse should get $5,000 worth of their marital assets on divorce. Spouse A may retain his or her entire interest in the retirement fund by trading off his or her interests in the bank account and car. Spouse A would then retain the entire retirement fund ($5,000) and spouse B would keep the car and cash ($2,000 + $3,000 = $5,000).

Stock-option or Profit-sharing Plans



Like pension and retirement funds, these assets are a clear benefit accrued as a result of a spouses employment. If you or your spouse were participants in such a plan during your marriage, the benefits that were earned during the marriage should be considered as property to be shared and divided. Again, the most difficult problem may be in determining the value of such benefits. With most of these type of plans, however, the value should be easier to ascertain than with pension plans. Check with the employer or administrator of the plan for assistance in determining the value of the benefits that accrued to the spouse during the time of the marriage. The value of any such plans should then be included in the total amount of marital property which is available for division.




Social Security Benefits

Social Security benefits are not community or marital property and are not subject to division by a court upon divorce. They are federal benefits and are not governed by state law. You will need to contact your local Social Security office to determine your rights to benefits after divorce. If you have been married for 10 years or more, you will have a right to Social Security benefits that accrued during your marriage even though you become divorced. You will also generally be eligible for Social Security survivor benefits if you and your spouse have been married for at least 10 years. If you are approaching being married for 10 years, be aware that divorce from your spouse before you reach the 10-year deadline may cost you significant Social Security benefits.

In addition, even though Social Security benefits are not subject to division in a divorce, the value of such benefits may be taken into account in any considerations regarding the amount of alimony or property to be allocated to a spouse.

Military and Federal Pensions and Benefits

Although military retirement pensions and federal civil service annuity benefits are also federally administered, they are subject, in most cases, to division upon divorce. Military disability pay is not, however, subject to division upon divorce. For military retirement benefits, there is a requirement that your marriage has lasted 10 years in order to share in the benefits which have accrued to your spouse. In addition, certain other benefits (such as PX and commissary rights) will be retained on divorce if your marriage lasted through 20 years of military service.

If you or your spouse are currently in military service, you will probably need to seek legal advice in order to obtain a divorce. Many states have specific legal requirements that must be met in order to obtain a divorce from a person on active military service. If you or your spouse are no longer in the service, but have military benefits that accrued while you were both married, you will need to determine the value of these benefits in much the same manner as outlined above in the section on pension and retirement plans. You will need to contact the agency or service branch which administers the plan or benefits.

As with standard retirement benefits, an actual division of military and federal benefits will generally be difficult. A trade-off for something of equivalent value is typically the most effective method for dealing with such benefits.


Cars and Other Vehicles



The division of cars may be accomplished by selling the vehicle and dividing the proceeds, or by a trade-off of one spouses share of the cars value. For the trade-off method, first determine the equity value of the car. This is determined by subtracting the amount owed on the car from its current market value. You can check with a car dealer or bank to find approximate (Blue Book) values of cars or trucks. The equity value should then be divided between the spouses. If you or your spouse desire to keep the car, a trade of something of a value equal to the other spouses share must be made. Transfer of title and registration (license plates) should then be made to the spouse who will retain the vehicle.

Educational Degrees

Many states now consider the value of a professional educational degree which was earned during the marriage to be part of the marital or community property and subject to division. The rationale behind this is that, in many cases, the spouse who did not earn the degree has sacrificed important career or educational opportunities of his or her own in order to assist the other spouse in earning the degree. The intention of most couples in such a situation was that the spouse who earned the degree would then be in a better position to bring income into the family. Upon divorce and in order to equalize the potential earning power of the degree-holder with that of the spouse who made the sacrifices for the attainment of the others degree, a value is placed on the degree and it is considered as property to be divided. It is, however, very difficult to place a specific value on the future earning potential value which is directly traceable to a particular professional degree. If you feel that the value of a professional degree is an important factor in your particular situation, it may be prudent to seek professional assistance from either a qualified accountant or attorney








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Property Questionnaire

Real Estate:
Family Home:
Do you lease a home or apartment?    ____________________________________
      If (YES): How much time is left on the lease? _______________________
Do you own your own home? __________________________________________
      If (YES): What is the address? ____________________________________
When was it purchased? _______________________________________________
      (Was this before or during the marriage?) ___________________________
Whose money was used for down payment?    _______________________________
Whose name(s) is on the deed? __________________________________________
How much was the down payment?     $    
What was the original purchase price?    $    
What is the present market value?    $    
How much is left unpaid on the mortgage?   $    
What is the equity (market value minus mortgage balance)?    $    
How much is the monthly mortgage payment?   $    
How much are the taxes?    $    
How much is the homeowners insurance?    $    
Have there been any major improvements made since its purchase? ____________
      (If YES): When were the improvements made? _____________________
      How much did they cost?    $    
      Whose money was used? ________________________________________
Here list the actual legal description of the home (taken directly off the deed or mortgage):
   ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Other Real Estate #1:
What is the address?    ______________________________________________________
When was it purchased? ____________________________________________________
      (Was this before or during the marriage?) __________________________
Whose money was used for down payment?    ______________________________
Whose name(s) is on the deed? _________________________________________
How much was the down payment?     $    
What was the original purchase price?    $    
What is the present market value?    $    
How much is left unpaid on the mortgage?   $    
What is the equity (market value minus mortgage balance)?    $    
How much is the monthly mortgage payment?   $    
How much are the taxes?    $    
How much is the insurance?    $    
Is there any rental income?    $    
Have there been any major improvements made since its purchase? ____________
      (If YES): When were the improvements made? _____________________
      How much did they cost?    $    
      Whose money was used? ________________________________________
   Here list the actual legal description of the home (taken directly off the deed or mortgage): ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Other Real Estate #2:
What is the address?    ________________________________________________
When was it purchased? ______________________________________________
   (Was this before or during the marriage?) __________________________
Whose money was used for down payment?    ______________________________
Whose name(s) is on the deed? _________________________________________
How much was the down payment?     $    
What was the original purchase price?    $    
What is the present market value?    $    
How much is left unpaid on the mortgage?   $    
What is the equity (market value minus mortgage balance)?    $    
How much is the monthly mortgage payment?   $    
How much are the taxes?    $    
How much is the insurance?    $    
Is there any rental income?    $    
Have there been any major improvements made since its purchase? ____________
   (If YES): When were the improvements made? ______________________
      How much did they cost?    $    
      Whose money was used? _______________________________________
   Here list the actual legal description of the home (taken directly off the deed or mortgage): ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Personal Property: (The term “owner” refers to the person in whose name the account, stock, bond, etc. is held. If jointly held, write “joint”.)
Bank Accounts:
   Savings:
   Bank _________________________ Account # _________________________
   Owner    ________________________ Amount $ _________________________

   Bank _________________________ Account # _________________________
   Owner    ________________________ Amount $ _________________________

   Checking:
   Bank _________________________ Account # _________________________
   Owner    ________________________ Amount $ _________________________

   Bank _________________________ Account # _________________________
   Owner    ________________________ Amount $ _________________________
   

   Certificates of Deposit:
   Bank _________________________ Account # _________________________
   Owner    ________________________ Amount $ _________________________

   Bank _________________________ Account # _________________________
   Owner    ________________________ Amount $ _________________________
   
   Money Market Accounts:
   Bank _________________________ Account # _________________________
   Owner    ________________________ Amount $ _________________________

   Bank _________________________ Account # _________________________
   Owner    ________________________Amount $ _________________________

Stocks:
Company _________________________ CUSIP # _________________________
   Owner  ______________________ # Shares _________________________
   Annual Dividend $ _____________ Value $ _________________________

Company _________________________ CUSIP # _________________________
   Owner  ______________________ # Shares _________________________
   Annual Dividend $ _____________ Value $ _________________________

Company _________________________ CUSIP # _________________________
   Owner  ______________________ # Shares _________________________
   Annual Dividend $ _____________ Value $ _________________________

Company _________________________ CUSIP # _________________________
   Owner  ______________________ # Shares _________________________
   Annual Dividend $ _____________ Value $ _________________________

Bonds:
Company _________________________ CUSIP # _________________________
   Owner  ______________________ # Shares _________________________
   Annual Dividend $ _____________ Value $ _________________________

Company _________________________ CUSIP # _________________________
   Owner  ______________________ # Shares _________________________
   Annual Dividend $ _____________ Value $ _________________________

Company _________________________ CUSIP # _________________________
   Owner  ______________________ # Shares _________________________
   Annual Dividend $ _____________ Value $ _________________________

Company _________________________ CUSIP # _________________________
   Owner  ______________________ # Shares _________________________
   Annual Dividend $ _____________ Value $ _________________________

Names and addresses of you and your spouses stockbrokers:
   __________________________________________________________________
   __________________________________________________________________

Income Tax:
   Did you file a joint return for the last tax year? ____________________________
   Is there a tax or refund due?    __________________________________________
      How much State?    $    
      How much Federal?    $    
      How much Local?    $    

Other personal property:
Car #1: Year    __________________ Make and model ______________________
Who has possession?    ____________ Whose name on title? __________________
License plate # and state: _____________________ Payment $ _______________
Amount of car loan unpaid $    __________________ Value $ _________________

Car #2: Year    __________________ Make and model ______________________
Who has possession?    ____________ Whose name on title? __________________
License plate # and state: _____________________ Payment $ _______________
Amount of car loan unpaid $    __________________ Value $ _________________

    Other vehicles (boats, campers, motorcycles,  etc): describe _________________
   Who has possession?     _________________ Value $ _________________

    Stereo: describe ____________________________________________________
   Who has possession?    _________________ Value $ _________________

    Jewelry: describe ___________________________________________________
   Who has possession?    _________________ Value $ _________________
 
    Tools: describe _____________________________________________________
   Who has possession?     _________________Value $ _________________

    Sporting Goods: describe _____________________________________________
   Who has possession?    _________________ Value $ _________________

    Furniture: describe __________________________________________________
   Who has possession?    _________________ Value $ _________________

    Appliances: describe    ________________________________________________
   Who has possession?    _________________ Value $ _________________

    Other property: describe _____________________________________________
   Who has possession?    _________________ Value $ _________________

    Other property: describe _____________________________________________
   Who has possession? _________________Value $ _________________

Business Assets: (Corporations, Partnerships, Proprietorships)
   Description: _______________________________________________________
   Location: _________________________________________________________
   Who has ownership?    ________________________ Value $ ________________
   Description: _______________________________________________________
   Location: _________________________________________________________
   Who has ownership?    ________________________ Value $ ________________


Retirement/Pension/Profit-sharing/Stock Option Plans:

IRA Accounts:
Bank or broker _______________________ Account # ____________________   
Owner    ________________________ Amount $ __________________________

Bank or broker _______________________ Account # ____________________   
Owner    ________________________ Amount $ __________________________

Bank or broker _______________________ Account # ____________________   
Owner    ________________________ Amount $ __________________________

Retirement Funds:
Company ___________________________ Account # _____________________   
Whose fund?    _______________________ Value $ _______________________

Profit-sharing Plan:
Company ___________________________ Account # _____________________   
Whose fund?    _______________________ Value $ _______________________

Stock Option Plan:
Company ___________________________ Account # _____________________   
Whose fund?    _______________________ Value $ _______________________

Pension Plan:
Company ___________________________ Account # _____________________   
Whose fund?    _______________________ Value $ _______________________

Insurance:
Life Insurance:
Company: _________________________________________________________
On whose life:  _______________________ Beneficiary: ___________________
Premium: $ __________________________ Cash Value $ _____________

Company: _________________________________________________________
On whose life:  _______________________ Beneficiary: ___________________
Premium: $ __________________________ Cash Value $ _____________
(On children)    Company:_____________________________________________
On whose life:  _______________________ Beneficiary: ___________________
Premium: $ __________________________ Cash Value $ _____________

Medical Insurance:
Company: ___________________________ Amount $ _____________________
On whom: ___________________________ Premium: $ ________________

Company: ___________________________ Amount $ _____________________
On whom: ___________________________ Premium: $ ________________

(On children) Company: ________________ Amount $ ____________________
On whom: ___________________________ Premium: $ ________________

Disability Insurance:
Company: ___________________________ Amount $ _____________________
On whom: ___________________________ Premium: $ _________________

Company: ___________________________ Amount $ _____________________
On whom: ___________________________ Premium: $ _________________

Auto Insurance:
Company: ___________________________ Amount $ _____________________
Which car?: __________________________ Premium: $ _________________

Company: ___________________________ Amount $ _____________________
Which car?: __________________________ Premium: $ _________________

Homeowners Insurance:
Company: ___________________________ Amount $ _____________________   
Property address ______________________ Premium: $ ___________________

Other Insurance:
Company: ___________________________ Amount $ _____________________
What purpose? _______________________ Premium: $ ____________________

Separate Property: (The term “separate property” generally refers to the property that each spouse held individually prior to the marriage and any property acquired individually by each spouse by gift or inheritance. Please see pages 50-55).
Was the amount of separate personal property that you or your spouse owned at the time of your marriage valued at over $1,000? _____________________
If (YES): List all specific property owned prior to marriage that is still owned (note who owns each item and its value). List property here even if listed previously.
   Description __________________________________________________
   Owner    ________________________ Value $ ______________________

   Description _________________________________________________
   Owner    ________________________ Value $ ______________________

   Description __________________________________________________
   Owner    ________________________ Value $ ______________________

   Description __________________________________________________
   Owner    ________________________ Value $ ______________________

Was any of you or your spouses property received by gift or inheritance?    
If (YES): List all specific property received by gift or inheritance that is still owned (note who owns each item and its value). List property here even if listed previously.
   Description __________________________________________________
   Owner    ________________________ Value $ ______________________

   Description __________________________________________________
   Owner    ________________________ Value $ ______________________

   Description __________________________________________________
   Owner    ________________________ Value $ ______________________

   Description __________________________________________________
   Owner    ________________________ Value $ ______________________


Bills and Debts:
Credit Cards:
   Name of Company: ___________________________________________
   Reason for debt: ______________________________________________
   In whose name: ______________________________________________
   Monthly payment: $    ________ Balance due $ _____________________

   Name of Company: ___________________________________________
   Reason for debt: ______________________________________________
   In whose name: ______________________________________________
   Monthly payment: $    ________ Balance due $ _____________________

   Name of Company: ___________________________________________
   Reason for debt: ______________________________________________
   In whose name: ______________________________________________
   Monthly payment: $    ________ Balance due $ _____________________

   Name of Company: ___________________________________________
   Reason for debt: ______________________________________________
   In whose name: ______________________________________________
   Monthly payment: $    ________ Balance due $ _____________________

Other debts:
   Name of Company: ___________________________________________
   Reason for debt: ______________________________________________
   In whose name: ______________________________________________
   Monthly payment: $    ________ Balance due $ _____________________

   Name of Company: ___________________________________________
   Reason for debt: ______________________________________________
   In whose name: ______________________________________________
   Monthly payment: $    ________ Balance due $ _____________________


   
   Name of Company: ___________________________________________
   Reason for debt: ______________________________________________
   In whose name: ______________________________________________
   Monthly payment: $    ________ Balance due $ _____________________

   Name of Company: ___________________________________________
   Reason for debt: ______________________________________________
   In whose name: ______________________________________________
   Monthly payment: $    ________ Balance due $ _____________________

   Name of Company: ___________________________________________
   Reason for debt: ______________________________________________
   In whose name: ______________________________________________
   Monthly payment: $    ________ Balance due $ _____________________

   Name of Company: ___________________________________________
   Reason for debt: ______________________________________________
   In whose name: ______________________________________________
   Monthly payment: $    ________ Balance due $ _____________________   

   Name of Company: ___________________________________________
   Reason for debt: ______________________________________________
   In whose name: ______________________________________________
   Monthly payment: $    ________ Balance due $ _____________________

   Name of Company: ___________________________________________
   Reason for debt: ______________________________________________
   In whose name: ______________________________________________
   Monthly payment: $    ________ Balance due $ _____________________

   Name of Company: ___________________________________________
   Reason for debt: ______________________________________________
   In whose name: ______________________________________________
   Monthly payment: $    ________ Balance due $ _____________________


Property Document Checklist


r   Federal, state, and local income tax returns:
r   Payroll stubs and W-2 Forms:
r   Records regarding any other income:
r   Records regarding monthly living expenses:
r   Pension and retirement plan policies and records:
r   Stock option and profit sharing plans and records:
r   Business tax returns (Corporate, partnership, or sole proprietorship):
r   Business financial statements:
r   Deeds to any real estate:
r   Mortgages or deeds of trust for any real estate:
r   Copies of any leases:
r   Checking account statements:
r   Savings account statements and passbooks:
r   Certificates of Deposit:
r   Stock certificates and bonds:
r   Securities stockbroker account statements:
r   Titles to cars, boats, motorcycles, etc.:
r   Any outstanding loan documents:
r   Credit card records:
r   Records of any other debts:
r   Life insurance policies:
r   Health insurance policies:
r   Auto insurance policies:
r   Homeowners insurance policy:
r   Other insurance policies:
r   Inventory of contents of safety deposit boxes:
r   Appraisals of any property:
r   Records of any gifts or inheritances:
Property Division Worksheet

Separate Property of Spouse #1:       
   Description     Value $    
   Description     Value $    
   Description     Value $    
   Description     Value $    
   Description     Value $    
   Description     Value $    
   Description     Value $    
   Description     Value $    
   Description     Value $    
   Description     Value $    
   Description     Value $    
      
   Total of Separate Property (Spouse #1):     $   

Separate Property of Spouse #2:       
   Description     Value $   
   Description     Value $   
   Description     Value $   
   Description     Value $   
   Description     Value $   
   Description     Value $   
   Description     Value $   
   Description     Value $   
   Description     Value $   
   Description     Value $   
   Description     Value $   
      
   Total of Separate Property (Spouse #2):     $   

Marital Property of Both Spouses:
Real estate:    Value $    
Auto:           Value $    
Furniture:     Value $    
Cash:       Value $    
Auto:        Value $    
Jewelry:     Value $    
Tools:        Value $    
Other:       Value $    
Stocks:     Value $    
Bonds:     Value $    

   A.   Total Amount of Marital Property:     $    

Marital Bills and Obligations:
Creditor:     Balance $    
Creditor:     Balance $    
Creditor:     Balance $    
Creditor:     Balance $    
Creditor:     Balance $    
Creditor:     Balance $    
Creditor:     Balance $    

   B. Total Amount of Marital Bills:     $    

Value of Marital Property to be Divided:
   Total Amount of Marital Property (A):     $    
   Minus (-) Total Amount of Marital Bills (B):     $    
   Equals (=) Total Value to be Divided (C) [A - B = C]:    $   

   Approximate Value to Each (1/2 or C/2):     $   
Agreed Share of Marital Property and Bills for Each Spouse:
Spouse #1:       
Description:    Value: $   
Description:    Value: $   
Description:    Value: $   
Description:    Value: $   
Description:    Value: $   
Description:    Value: $   
Description:    Value: $   
Description:    Value: $   
Description:    Value: $   

      Total Marital Property Spouse #1:    $   

Spouse #2:    
Description:    Value: $   
Description:    Value: $   
Description:    Value: $   
Description:    Value: $   
Description:    Value: $   
Description:    Value: $   
Description:    Value: $   
Description:    Value: $   
Description:    Value: $   

      Total Marital Property Spouse #2:    $   
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