Dividing a Divorce List of Assets & Liabilities

Are you and your spouse thinking of getting a divorce?

Divorce is one of the most difficult chapters that people may encounter in their lives, and it can get much more complicated than you might initially think.

You’ve built a life with this person, some longer than others, and you likely have many shared assets and liabilities.

While it might be easy to decide you don’t want to live together anymore, it becomes difficult to determine who gets what.

Couples who can agree to split assets fairly and evenly often experience a much smoother transition.

Unfortuantely, it’s rarely that easy to do amicably.

In this article, we’ll first dive into some factors that the court will consider when dividing your property.

Then we’ll provide divorce list of assets and liabilities you must make sure are factored in so nothing gets overlooked.

Dividing Property: Court Considerations

While many cases are settled without a trial through property division agreements, often with bitter spouses it’s not that simple.

In divorce cases, the court has a long list of criteria it weighs to fairly divide marital property, otherwise known as equitable distribution.

This list includes, but is not limited to:

  • Marriage length
  • Spouse age and health
  • Property value and income
  • Standard of living
  • Economic circumstances
  • Spousal earning capacity and contributions – includes education, experience, time off, job search, child custody
  • Homemaker contributions
  • Property settlement agreements
  • Tax implications
  • Trust requirements for medical or educational costs for children or spouse
  • Career goal deferment to benefit the marriage

Divorce List of Assets & Liabilities

Now that you know what the court will look out for, it’s time to know what you need to be prepared for in your own specific case.

As your case progresses, your divorce attorney will request a list of all marital assets and liabilities.

Here’s a divorce list of assets we commonly see couples disputing during a divorce settlement:

Real Estate Assets

Any stationary property or land you own falls under real estate assets.

These will commonly include:

  • Marital homestead
  • Vacation homes
  • Business property
  • Rental property
  • Undeveloped land
  • Timeshares

When it comes to these types of properties, it’s also important to come prepared with the following information about them:

  • Purchase dates
  • Purchase price
  • Down payment amount
  • Down payment source
  • Monthly payment amount
  • Tax and insurance amount paid
  • Open mortgage balances
  • Property fair market value

Financial Assets

There are surely several financial assets you and your spouse have accumulated together over the years.

These usually become huge points of contention during divorce settlements.

Here’s a list of some common financial assets to split:

  • Bank Accounts
  • Credit Cards
  • Debt
  • Taxes
  • Pension Funds
  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Trusts
  • 401(k)
  • IRAs
  • Social Security
  • Retirement
  • Mutual Funds
  • Annuities
  • Alimony
  • Certificates of Deposit
  • Life insurance
  • Other insurance policies

A few of the above assets will require more details.

Make sure you have as much information as possible in the following instances so there are no surprises:

Insurance policies

  • Name of provider
  • Policy #
  • Face and cash value of the policy or policies
  • Name of person/item insured
  • Outstanding loans against the policy
  • Outstanding payment amounts
  • Reason for loan
  • Date of loan

Bank Accounts

  • Bank name and address
  • Account type and number
  • Current balance
  • Names on account
  • Date opened

Pension Funds (401k, 403(b), military retirement, etc)

  • Plan name
  • Contributions and co-contributions made
  • Percent vested in the plan and years until vested
  • Lump sum and monthly payments collectible now
  • Monthly payments availability date

Stocks, Bonds, IRAs, Mutual Funds

  • Name and number
  • Purchase price
  • Face and market value
  • Current Total

Certificates of Deposit

  • Maturity date
  • Face amount
  • C.D. location
  • Interest

Business Assets

If you or your spouse own or share a business, you must divide those assets too.

Types of businesses and involved assets can include:

  • Sole proprietorships
  • Partnerships
  • Professional practice
  • Professional degree
  • Creditors
  • Education
  • Patents, copyrights and trademarks

As you should know by now, the more detail you have the better.

Some business information to have handy is as follows:

  • Acquisition date
  • Business name
  • Business start date
  • Is it incorporated?
  • Shares owned (if public)
  • Number of employees
  • Business net worth
  • Last tax year and quarter profit/loss
  • Business books location

Personal Property

While the big-ticket items such as real estate, financial and business assets are a major point of contention for some, for others it comes down to the personal, and more sentimental items.

Here are some commonly disputed personal property assets:

  • Furniture and Appliances
  • Tools
  • Sports Equipment
  • Art
  • Collectibles
  • Antiques
  • China
  • Home decorations
  • Firearms
  • Computers
  • Jewelry
  • Clothing
  • Motor vehicles
  • Boats

Separate Property

When it comes to your divorce list of assets, separate property is property owned prior to marriage or after divorce is filed.

While there are a lot of grey areas in these cases, separate property can include:

  • Gifts received from anyone (except the spouse) during the marriage or an inheritance
  • Income received from separate property
  • Property and debts designed as separate in a legal contract
  • Personal injury awards


As you can now see, there are many factors to consider when going through a divorce.

With so many shared assets, this can be one of the most difficult components of a divorce.

It is our goal to minimize the stress and uncertainty by keeping our clients informed about their case as well as the entire divorce process.

That’s why we put together the above divorce list of assets to help guide you through the process.

We believe it is important for our clients to understand what to expect.

If you have more questions about the divorce process, visit our website.