Potential Complications With Property Division During Divorce

Property division is naturally one of the most divisive aspects of a divorce. Your divorce can get even more acrimonious when complications arise during the property division. Below are some of these potential complications.


During your divorce, you get to keep your separate property while you divide the marital property with your partner. However, this is only possible if you can identify the marital and separate property. Complications arise when it turns out that separate and marital property has been mixed up (comingled) to the point where it's difficult to separate the two. An example is if you have used your separate cash to improve a marital business.

Hidden Assets

Ideally, everyone should show their cards and dealer their wealth and income during asset division. This is necessary so that equitable division can take place since equitable distribution takes into account both separate and marital property. However, some spouses hide their assets or income during divorce, making asset division difficult. For example, your spouse might fail to reveal income from a consulting business that they do on the side. It is then up to you to dig and find out about the hidden asset and its value.


If you give three different appraisers the same task, they are likely to come up with different results. This is a problem when dividing assets that must be appraised first. Examples of such assets include businesses, real estate property, and collectibles. Each spouse is likely to choose the value that favors them.

Nonmonetary Valuation

During asset valuation, decisions are typically based on the monetary value of assets. For example, if you want to divide a house, you can appraise it, sell it, and then divide the proceeds. However, there are some assets that have nonmonetary values.

For example, if your parents gifted both of you your childhood home, you may have a sentimental or emotional attachment to the house that goes beyond the property's marital value. Valuing such an asset is difficult because you have to take into account both its monetary and nonmonetary values.

Complex Assets

Lastly, some assets are also difficult to divide, even if you have succeeded in appraising them properly. An example is the division of a business that operates a single branch and deals with one line of product or service. In some cases, even selling the business to divide the proceeds may not be an option. Maybe the business is in a declining industry, and finding a buyer is not easy.

Contact a divorce lawyer today to learn more.