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Dividing property when you own few assets isn't always simple

When you're in a young relationship, you may start to collect assets. Early in your marriage, it's unlikely that you'll have many high-value assets. You might have a starter home, which costs a fair amount but nothing extreme, televisions, cars and few other major assets.

While it would seem that this would make it easy to divide your assets, that's not always the case. It's sometimes harder for individuals with less to get through a divorce easily, because they're more likely to want what few assets they own for themselves.

How can you address property division when there is everything to lose?

Start by looking at what you can afford to live without. If you know that you can't afford the mortgage payment on the home you own, consider selling it and splitting any profit that comes from the sale. If you want the home but don't have other assets that could be negotiated in exchange for it, you may need to buy out your spouse.

Remember to talk to your spouse openly or to get help negotiating if you can't. If you only own $100,000 of assets, then you typically would be expected to split those assets roughly in half, in most cases. If you can do that by giving a $50,000 home to one spouse and $50,000 worth of other assets to the other, that could be one solution. On the other hand, the home appreciates in value over time, whereas the other assets may depreciate, which is something to consider.

Attorneys are familiar with different kinds of assets and how splitting them affects your future, your taxes and other aspects of your life. Remember that any items purchased during your marriage or used by both you and your spouse are likely marital assets and open for division if you choose.

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