Though you may have known several people throughout your life who have gone through divorce, you may not have known what to expect when the time came for your own. At first, you may have been caught unawares, or maybe you felt that it was for the best, but once you started thinking about the legal proceedings, you may have worried about how much conflict you would face along the way.

Divorce certainly can have its points of contention. When it comes for property division and child custody in particular, you and your soon-to-be ex may have a hard time seeing eye to eye. Luckily, you can take steps to prepare yourself for the pending proceedings and better determine how to work toward the outcomes you hope to achieve.

Understand your property

Because property division can be a tricky situation to work through, having the right knowledge before you start could prove immensely useful. Everything you own as well as what you owe could play significant roles during the proceedings. Therefore, you may want to have a working knowledge regarding the following topics:

  • Your assets — The term “asset” can refer to a variety of items ranging from physical property, cash or accounts. Gathering documents relating to your retirement accounts, income taxes, W-2 forms or other income-related records, bank accounts, and similar financial documents can all prove useful. Obtaining these forms in relation to your spouse’s assets and income could be beneficial as well.
  • Your debts — Your debt and your spouse’s debt can also play a role in property division. Though you may have an understanding of your debts, you may need more information on your spouse’s debts as well. Having this type of information may help you avoid unexpected setbacks relating to potentially having to take on some of your spouse’s debt.
  • Non-marital assets — During asset division, if property is considered non-marital or separate, it is not subject to division. However, you still need to ensure that you know what assets count as separate property. In some cases, you may believe that an asset should remain yours only. In order to provide evidence of ownership, you may want to gather and organize purchase documents, titles, deeds and other records.

If you have more information regarding your property and financial circumstances, you may have a greater chance of finding the most viable routes for obtaining the outcomes you want.

Creating a plan

Strategy and negotiation can play a significant role in property division proceedings and other areas of divorce. You may not feel that these areas are strong points of yours, but with the right information and help, you could create a solid plan. Gaining information from local Arizona legal resources relating to your options may prove helpful.