It is estimated that 40% to 50% of marriages unfortunately do not last. But since no plans for a future divorce, many spouses do not take the proper steps to protect themselves or their finances should a divorce occur. If a divorce is necessary down the line, some spouses may end up with settlement terms that do not serve their best interests.
What are some things Washington residents can do to make sure they receive their share of the marital assets?
Know what you have
Many people fail to keep an accurate and complete record of their various financial assets. However it is impossible to fight for your fair share in the divorce if you don’t know exactly what assets are up for grabs. So, do some digging and hire a forensic accountant if needed to figure this out.
Start separating finances
Separating finances doesn’t mean emptying shared bank accounts and placing the funds in individual accounts. Failing to be transparent about moving marital assets could cause problems down the line. Work with your spouse to come to a shared agreement on how to separate any shared accounts, if possible.
Understand the tax consequences
The division of certain assets can have negative tax consequences. Understanding what those are can help you determine which assets are worth fighting for and which are not worth the cost. Having knowledgeable legal counsel or a financial advisor on your side can help you figure this out.
Looking ahead at potential post-divorce finances can help you determine what you need to get out of the divorce proceedings. Will you need spousal support? Will you need child support? If so, how much? Be prepared to lay out your needs in clear terms; do not simply assume that your spouse or the court will offer these things on their own.
The last thing anyone wants is to feel that they were taken advantage of when their divorce is said and done. Fighting for a fair settlement is possible, it is just a matter of taking certain steps to protect yourself and your money.
An experienced family law attorney will be able to review the specifics of your case and help you take the steps necessary to achieve a balanced settlement of all marital assets.