Divorce is a highly emotional time and when you are going through such a trying life event, practical matters may be far from your mind. But despite the emotional toll, it is important that you consider financial matters – if not for yourself, for the well-being of your loved ones. You will get through this difficult period, and once you are on the other side, you will surely want to enjoy your new life.
Asset division can make an already emotionally heightened experience even more overwhelming, but if you take it one step at a time, you will get through it and be glad that you didn’t let your finances fall by the wayside in the midst of turmoil.
Here are 3 financial tips to help you through a complex divorce:
Get Organized – Because this is such a stressful time for most, memory and organizational skills are not at their best. Getting and keeping your financial information organized can help tremendously. Compile copies of your tax returns from the past five years and document your total net worth – including all assets, investments, property and liabilities. In contentious divorces, one may be worried that their partner is attempting to hide assets, but producing income tax returns is a simple way to ensure honesty. (Lying on tax returns is illegal and many do not want to risk the repercussions — although, unfortunately, this is not always the case.) In the end, you want to pursue a fair division of assets, alimony and child support, if applicable. Keeping solid financial records is the first step in making that happen.
Consult a Professional – As previously stated, divorce is a highly emotional time. It can be difficult to think clearly and make important decisions on your own. Adding to this difficulty is the problem that asset division can be more complicated than it seems. Not all assets are equal and while certain assets may seem at first glance to be worth the same amount of money, that is not always the case. For example, taxes can ultimately decrease the value of a home, as can paying for upkeep, and the real estate market fluctuates so much that value may change. Similarly, illiquid assets such as art and antiques can be risky and may not be a financially sound prospect. Consulting with a trusted legal advisor can be vital to making smart decisions when it comes to asset division.
Prepare for the Future – When a marriage ends, splitting assets and separating finances can be a tedious and emotionally draining prospect. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that is your future. Once the dust has settled, you will be able to set off on this new adventure. While it can be easy to focus on the negative, you should also try to see the positive aspects of this fresh start. And to make the most of this new beginning, you will want to have a solid financial foundation to pave your way. If you don’t already have your own credit or bank accounts, now is the time to establish these necessities.
Ultimately, once your divorce is finalized, you will be able to enjoy the benefits of these financial decisions. The experienced divorce attorneys at Fields and Dennis, LLP understand that divorce can be complex and emotional and is hardy ever easy on either party, but with proper planning, you will emerge on the other side stronger – and with your financial security intact.