Separating Needs from Wants in Divorce Negotiations

sticky noteWhen you first begin to think about how your marital property will be divided, the entire process can feel overwhelming. Since you are each entitled to half of the community property from your marriage, choices will have to be made. The type of property you end up with can affect your future financial life, as well as your everyday life today.

One of the first things you should do is make a list of all the property that is to be divided. There will be big assets, like your home, retirement accounts, cars, and bank accounts. There will also be smaller items such as household furnishings and collectibles. Because your assets will need to be divided in half, it’s important to assign a dollar value to each item on the list (your attorney can help you with this). You will need to total the complete value of all assets.

Now make two columns next to the list. One is labelled “Need” and one is labelled “Want.” Needs are things you cannot live without. Wants are things you would like to have, but can live without if necessary. Go through the list and place a checkmark in one of the two columns for each item. Total your want column. If it comes out to roughly half, you are in a good position. If the want column is too high, look at your need column. If this is roughly half, you may need to go with this list. If both lists are more than half of the total value of all assets, it’s time to completely reassess your wants and needs. It’s important to go over these lists with your attorney to make sure that values are accurate and also that you are actually planning to ask for things that will truly benefit you.

The Sampair Group handles divorce and family law cases in the Mesa, Phoenix, and Glendale areas of Arizona. Our skilled attorneys are here to help you with your case. Call us today.