Marital estate is defined as everything owned when a couple was married. In legal terms it means both the assets and liabilities of the couple. To find out the assets the following equation is used:
Everything that the couple owned (assets)
Debts that are owned (liability)
This equals the amount of the marital estate.
The courts will use this formula whether it is written out or put into a numeric format.
Both parties have to be truthful about both the assets and liabilities. The courts may mandate a disclosure to get this information. This will help determine if something is a marital asset, the value of it, and who will get it. This is very important in a divorce.
There are two main reasons as to why this is determined:
1. Some localities will enforce a penalty if they find a party failed to disclose information. If an asset is hidden and then discovered the person may face a fine.
2. Both trust and credibility is important during a divorce. If hidden assets are found then the divorce proceedings can take a turn for the worse. The judge will not view the party hiding assets in a favorable manner.
After disclose is complete the items will be assigned a value.
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