Wisconsin Property Division – Helping Madison-area Residents Achieve Fair Property Division in Divorce
I help clients in seeking fair property division in divorce in an expeditious and cost-effective manner to the extent possible.
As with other aspects of a divorce, the best outcome for property division is usually through an agreement by the spouses, instead of a ruling by the court.
The Fundamentals of Property Division in Wisconsin
In Wisconsin, there is a presumption that marital property includes all assets and debts of the spouses, and that assets and liabilities should be divided fairly (which usually means equally). Courts, however, may consider other factors in determining property division, such as the earning ability of each spouse, and whether property was acquired prior to the marriage (such as through an inheritance).
Division of Assets and Personal Property
Assets include both physical property – such as furniture and cars – as well as intangible assets – such as money in bank accounts and retirement benefits. At the outset, it will be important to compile a list of all assets, including retirement benefits, as well as any debts associated with those assets. Once this list has been compiled, strategic decisions can be made in terms of determining the assets that are the most important to you.
Allocations of Debt
While spouses often seek possession of cars and other assets in a divorce, less consideration is usually given to debt. Debt often includes:
- Credit Cards
- A home mortgage
- Student loans
- Other amounts owed, such as medical and utility bills.
Some debt may be in the name of only one spouse, while other debt may be joint obligations of both spouses (such as credit card debt). In the division of property, it will also be important to determine how debt will be paid or allocated.
Division of Real Property
Real property consists of such things as land, houses, town homes, and condominiums. In a divorce, if the couple owns real property where they reside, a determination will need to be made as to who will be entitled to legal ownership of such property, and how any mortgages on such property will be handled. Additionally, a determination will usually need to be undertaken regarding the estimated fair market value of the property, and whether this value exceeds the amount owed under a mortgage.
I Help Couples with All Aspects of Their Divorce
I focus on client objectives, and often use creative negotiation strategies and mediation in seeking to obtain a favorable outcome and resolution.
Please call me to learn more about how I can help you in your divorce.