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Tips for dividing common assets in a divorce

Once you or your spouse has filed for divorce, it's time for both of you to begin preparing for the discussions to come. You will likely begin thinking about the way the assets you hold will be divided. The most common marital assets include the home, the 401(k), artwork, the car and the furniture in the home. Let's look at some tips for dividing these assets.

The home can be an easy one to divide. If neither one of you wants to continue to live there, the best thing to do is sell it and divide the proceeds from the sale. Each of you will be able to take that money and do with it what you please.

If you want to apportion your 401(k), you need to get a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). A QDRO prevents you from facing taxes and other penalties when you split the account.

If there is a stalemate when it comes to dividing the artwork, it might be best to sell all of it and then divide the proceeds from the sale. If you don't choose to do this, you'll need to have the items appraised and then go about dividing the collection.

If there is only one car in the marriage and both of your names are on it, this can be difficult to divide. You can let your spouse keep the car and they can pay you for half of its value -- or vice versa.

The best way to divide the furniture in the home is to determine every piece's value and then split it up from there.

Dividing assets in a divorce is never easy. You might agree on one thing and fight tooth and nail on everything else. Make sure you know exactly what before you begin negotiating with your spouse.

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