When you are involved in divorcing your spouse, whether you file or he does, it is normal to have fears regarding your financial future. However, if you are well informed, you can alleviate your fears and protect your financial future to some degree.
Not knowing how much of the marital assets will be yours can be a daunting thought. Remember that you likely own both liquid and non-liquid assets. If you receive all non-liquid assets in the divorce you have the problem of no cash on hand. Unless you work at a well paying job this can put you in a predicament when it comes to paying your bills. Therefore, be sure that you discuss your needs for liquid assets with your attorney so they thoroughly understand whether it is more important for you to have cash or equity in a house that may not sell for months.
You want to be sure that you get your fair share of the assets you have accumulated. If you do not know exactly what you own and where it is located you run the risk of losing out. Hiring appraisers to give you a report on the value of real estate, collectibles and other assets will help you to understand exactly what you own. If you have a family-owned business, the value is often subjective and you can bet the value will be low, unless appraised. The price of paying expert appraisers is well worth the outcome in most cases. Forensic accountants can help you uncover hidden assets, especially if you have a family business. They work as a financial detective to discover whether or not your spouse is squirreling away money that you are unaware of and that he has not disclosed (not uncommon if a business is involved).
You know your lifestyle will not remain the same and the fear of how you will live can be distressing. It is a good idea to sit down with your attorney and get an estimate of what the attorney hopes you will be receiving in alimony, child support and your share of the marital assets. All of them are subject to negotiation so they are not firm until the final judgment is entered. It may help for you to discuss your future finances with a financial planner who can look at your income and living expenses and assist you in coming up with a plan. If you know what you need to have a decent lifestyle it will help you determine what you need from the marital assets and this will assist your attorney when negotiating for you.
Divorce is difficult enough on it's own so taking charge of the financial issues ahead of time can help you navigate through the process with a little less stress.
DAWN Attorneys for Women
Nothing herein constitutes a legal opinion.
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