Trying to handle financial issues while in the midst of a divorce can seem overwhelming. With so much at stake, it is important to have an experienced and dedicated advocate on your side who can make sure that your rights are protected and your best interests are looked after. Our Towson divorce lawyers can help you avoid these common financial mistakes.
Becoming a Financial Victim
Spouses who are unfamiliar with the household’s income, debts, or assets may be at a disadvantage when it comes time to determine how they will be distributed. Take the time to gather as much information as possible as early as possible. Make copies of important financial documents such as bank and investment statements, tax returns, and credit card and insurance statements. Begin monitoring these statements regularly and look for any red flags that your spouse may be making changes without your consent. Your financial situation is likely to change dramatically after your divorce. Early planning will help to lessen the shock and set you up for future financial security.
Marital assets are much more than just the shared home and bank accounts. Do not allow yourself to get shortchanged on other assets, such as furniture, collectibles, and artwork. Understand that an asset’s true value may not be the same as its current market value. Be sure that you are comparing apples to apples by factoring in tax consequences, present value and transaction costs. For money-making assets; such as a privately held business, rental property, or bonds and stock options; you may need the assistance of a financial planner with experience in divorce cases.
Be aggressive when estimating your post-divorce cost of living. Take careful note on how much your family spends on food, clothing, and other essentials, as well as extra-curricular activities for the kids and other discretionary spending. Look back at least 12 months so you can get a clear picture of how your money was spent throughout the year so that you can account for seasonal changes. Also, do not forget to factor in the cost of inflation. Understanding the true cost of future expenses can help you to know what to ask for.
Not Considering Taxes
If your spouse presents you with a seemingly generous settlement offer, take caution that you do not get stuck with a hefty tax bill. Capital gains from shares of stock, real estate, mutual funds and other investments can have a big impact on your taxes. Talk to a tax specialist before agreeing to any settlement proposal.
Refusing to Let Go of the Marital Home
A divorce can be one of the most emotionally devastating experiences in a person’s life. But at a time when the decisions you make can affect the rest of your life and that of your children, it is important to try to set your emotions aside. One of the most challenging aspects of a divorce may be letting go of certain marital possessions, particularly the marital home. You may have strong feelings about keeping the family home for a number of very valid reasons, such as keeping your children in the same school or not wanting to upset their lifestyle. However, it is important to keep in mind that a household that took two people to run may be too much for one. Aside from the cost of a mortgage, utilities, taxes, maintenance and other expenses, the basic upkeep of a home can be more than one person can handle.
Trying to Punish your Spouse
While you are in the midst of a bitter divorce battle fueled heavily by emotion, it can be hard to step back and look at the big picture. No matter what transpired during the course of your marriage, the purpose of legal divorce proceedings is to move on, not look back. Furthermore, bitter court battles are costly and emotionally draining. It is better just to treat your divorce as you would any business arrangement. The best way to get back at your ex is securing a great future for yourself.
Towson Divorce Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles Handle the Complexities of Divorce Settlements
Our Towson divorce lawyers have helped countless individuals sort out the complexities of their divorce arrangements. When dealing with this difficult time in your life, having an experienced, compassionate and highly skilled divorce lawyer on your side can help you lay the groundwork to a brighter future. At Huesman, Jones & Miles, we handle all aspects of family law including property division, spousal and child support, child custody, parenting schedules, and estate planning. Call 443-589-0150 today to schedule an initial consultation or submit an online contact form.