During a divorce, one common issue that can become contentious is property division. In the state of Alabama, the courts divide the marital property up in an equitable way, but this does not necessarily mean equal. A couple may end up with better results if they work together to come up with a fair agreement.
Sometimes each partner lets emotions get in the way, and things can get heated, even in an uncontested divorce. Couples who are having issues with dividing property may want to try mediation rather than go through court litigation.
What the state considers to be marital property
According to FindLaw, marital property consists of all assets obtained or accumulated during the marriage as well as individual property acquired prior to the marriage that both parties used for their common benefit. This includes individual and joint retirement benefits. If the court makes property division decisions, the judge divides them up in a fair way, but it may not be what the two sides feel is equal.
How mediation can help with property division decisions
If a couple wants the divorce process to go as smoothly and uncombative as possible, they can decide together how to divide assets. However, they may want some help if they are having difficulty agreeing.
According to the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation, mediation is one alternative to court litigation, and it is a much more peaceful and inexpensive process. A neutral third party, called a mediator, works with the two sides to help them agree to property division, child custody and other divorce-related decisions.
A mediator facilitates an open dialogue between the two parties and offers creative solutions when necessary. soon-to-be-ex spouses tend to reach higher-quality agreements and have better relationships post-divorce when using mediation.