When parties divorce, division of assets is an important part of the process. Asset division can include the division of value of real property, personal property, financial accounts, retirement accounts, vehicles etc. Utah courts generally divide equally the value of marital assets acquired during the marriage. Where a party owned property before the marriage, that property may be considered premarital, not subject to division in a divorce action. However, if a party has contributed to or enhanced premarital property, a court may treat premarital property as marital property and divide value as part of the marital estate. Parties can generally agree on the division of household items as litigating that issue can be cost prohibitive and fees to divide those items can often exceed the value of the items to be divided. Division of higher value assets, such as real property, retirement accounts and higher value items such as jewelry and art may be more complex. Appraisals of real and personal property may be obtained to determine values for purposes of divided assets in a divorce. Courts have the discretion to order parties to sell assets where parties cannot agree on their division or where it is not financially feasible for either party to maintain an asset such as home or vehicle.
Division of retirement assets such as pension plans, 401ks, IRAs, SEPs, stocks, profit sharing plans and the like can be a complex process. Courts generally divided equally all retirements assets acquired during the marriage. Retirement assets held by a party before the marriage are generally awarded to the party that owned the asset prior to the marriage. Division of retirement assets are subject to very complex and specific rules, regulations and laws. The division of retirement assets must be handled carefully to ensure equitable division of these assets. Special court orders known as Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs) are often necessary to effectuate the division of retirement assets in a divorce action.