[ecis2016.org] A divorce is emotionally distressing. Make sure it does not lead to financial distress, as well.
The emotional stress caused by an impending divorce is almost always exhausting. A divorce can also lead to the division of shared assets that can add to the stress. However, one should ensure that the assets are divided fairly, to safeguard one’s life after divorce. With that as a guiding light, we describe the future course of action for soon-to-be former spouses.
Assess what is truly yours
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), divorce may influence well-being, with many individuals experiencing depression, loneliness and isolation, self-esteem difficulties and other psychological distresses. “Trying to work things out can be frustrating and self-defeating as the problems that contributed to your divorce are likely to re-emerge during divorce negotiations,” the APA website states.
Psychological experts are unanimous in their opinion that recurring thoughts of vengeance are natural. However, if you allow this to guide you, it would become more strenuous for both parties. This can be compounded by court proceedings.
One sure-shot way to avoid this and keep things civil is to sit back with a clear head, preferably in the company of a professional, and assess what truly belongs to you. Ask your partner to do the same and then sit across the table to reach an agreement. This would ease the process of separation.
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Know the law
What you expect out of your divorce and what the law allows may be contradictory. Claiming assets that do not legally qualify as yours, would lead to disappointments and frustration, severely impacting your overall well-being. Do some research to find a lawyer who will guide you about the articles you can legally claim in the marital property.
“Apart from the applicability of some standard laws based on the faith of a couple (Hindu, Muslim, Christian, etc.), other laws may also be applicable, based on an individual case. Your lawyer will be in a better position to guide you through this process,” says Anupam Mishra, a Lucknow-based lawyer, who specialises in family settlement cases.
Be aware of the rights of the other party
No matter how wronged you feel, you and your partner both have legal rights. For example, a woman in India can claim half of her husband’s self-acquired property if she has made contributions towards the purchase. However, she cannot stake claim, if the husband alone is responsible for the acquisition and maintenance of such property. An estranged wife cannot stake any claim in the husband’s undivided ancestral property either.
Staking any claims unapproved by the law would lead to disappointment, further litigation costs and emotional stress.
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Start doing the paperwork
Your assets may be physical but your ownership is determined by the paperwork. If a wife wants to claim her share in her husband’s self-acquired property, because she has paid a substantial amount towards the purchase and EMI payment, she would have to present documentary proof of the same.
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It is important to remember that co-borrowing and co-owning a property are not the same. You co-own a property when it is jointly registered in the government records.
Similarly, a husband who may have single-handedly purchased and maintained a property and is unwilling to share it with the soon-to-be former wife, must be ready with all the paperwork to be presented before the court.
Also read all about joint registration of property benefits
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