When you can’t agree during a divorce

Sometimes, coming to an agreement during a divorce proceeding is difficult. A divorce is often about a loss of trust and that can make it hard for the parties to be willing to set aside their differences and do what is best for their future. Property issues can be particularly difficult as items of personal property may have sentimental or emotional value far beyond their apparent monetary value.

Similarly, property like real estate can be both emotional and financially problematic. One party may wish to retain the family home, but cannot afford to buy out the other party or may be financially crippled by such a transaction. This may lead to a deadlock, where they need to sell the property but cannot emotionally accept the deal.

Some courts will “bifurcate” the divorce decree, and allow the couple to legally dissolve their marriage without a final agreement on the terms of the property division. However, such a move is fraught with peril, and agreeing to such an agreement comes with substantial risks.

The problems from bifurcation can include such issues as the allocation of the payment of property tax and insurance on a home and the maintenance costs that go with home ownership. Another problem is that with a divorce decree granted one party may attempt to drag out the property settlement to the other parties detriment or the potential that the other party could die prior to settlement.

There may be legitimate reasons for bifurcation. One party may be very interested in remarrying and need the divorce in order to be able to legally remarry. A party may be anticipating receiving a substantial bonus from work and by obtaining the divorce, the ensure that it does not become marital property.

Nonetheless, you should discuss this issue carefully and thoughtfully with your attorney, as you should be aware of the potential negative repercussions from such a decision.

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