Going through divorce, one thing you know you need to do is to divide your assets.  You’ve set aside assets that you know are specifically yours, like your vehicle and certain items you brought into your marriage. Your spouse has done the same. You were both able to agree to the separation of those assets, so you could focus on more important marital assets.

Now, you’re struggling. You have furniture, a home, additional vehicles that you shared as well as investments, retirement accounts and more. You know that you can divide your assets 50-50, but is it better to use equitable distribution? What’s actually fair?

Equitable distribution is a way of dividing marital assets in a fair way, not in an equal way. So, for example, if you purchased all of the furniture for your home, pay half of the mortgage and cover the cost of your shared vehicle, then you may want to ask for a greater portion of those assets. Your spouse, who may have contributed in other ways, can also ask for what they think is fair. For instance, if they stayed home with your kids instead of working a fulltime job, they may ask for certain pieces of furniture, items from the kitchen and other marital assets to make it easier on them when they move out of your home.

Deciding on how to divide your assets is really up to you. You and your spouse should sit down and figure out what’s fair. Try to divide assets that you know you don’t need and they want. They should do the same for you. Then, any remaining assets can be divided by value or negotiated for during your divorce.