Divorce is coming at you fast as you’re pulled in several different directions. While there’s a lot to think about, matters regarding asset and debt division should always be at the top of your priority list.

It’s your goal to obtain as many assets as possible in your divorce, while minimizing the amount of debt that you take on. Compromise is important, but there are steps you can take to position yourself for success. And it all starts with the creation of an asset and debt division checklist.

In regard to your assets, here are the four primary categories you can use:

  • Financial assets: Typically, one of the most valuable categories, this includes assets such as bank accounts, retirement accounts, pensions, life insurance policy cash values, cash, certificates of deposit, stocks and bonds.
  • Real estate: For most, this includes their family home, but can also include rental property, business real estate, farms and land, and vacation homes.
  • Personal property: Often one of the largest categories, this can include but is not limited to home furnishings, antiques, jewelry, electronics, guns, collectibles, artwork, china, home office equipment, clothing, motor vehicles, recreational vehicles and boats.
  • Business assets: This category doesn’t fit everyone, but when one or both individuals owns a business, it can include things such as commercial real estate, company bank accounts, company vehicles and office equipment.

To go along with your assets, make a separate checklist that includes all individual and joint debts. These can include:

  • Credit cards
  • Personal loans
  • Mortgage
  • Car loans
  • Payday loans
  • Student loans

No one wants to find that they’ll be taking on debt from their divorce, but it’s likely to happen. You need to plan for this in a similar manner as your assets.

With the help of an asset and debt division checklist, you’re in better position to negotiate from a position of power with the idea of protecting your legal rights.

It will take you some time to gather all the necessary information pertaining to your assets and debts, but it’s a critical step in the divorce process. Once you have everything you need, it’s much easier to proceed with confidence.