It is common knowledge that divorce is a stressful experience for our clients. While it is natural to feel anxiety about the dissolution of marriage, you need to consider the practical implications of a divorce. The road to a successful divorce can be a long one.
We can help with your divorce. Call the Law Offices of Paul F. Sherman at (503) 223-8441 or Contact Us for a free divorce consultation.
We are providing you with the secrets to a successful divorce developed by experts to help you with your journey and to keep you from losing too much money as a result of your separation.
DON’T ALLOW EMOTIONS TO CONTROL YOUR FINANCIAL DECISIONS.
Many of our clients want to take out their hurt feelings on their spouse. They are angry and bitter and just want to get revenge. However, it is important that you don’t allow your emotions to interfere with the business at hand. Being spiteful could harm your own finances in the long run. Asking your attorney to draft a letter over a $50 coffee table book is pure nonsense. Repeated emails and telephone calls over miniscule items will substantially increase your attorneys fees.
EVERYTHING IS FAIR GAME IN A DIVORCE.
Never make the mistake of thinking that assets in your name can’t be claimed by your spouse in a divorce. As a general rule, everything acquired during a marriage is divisible including frequent flyer air miles or royalties from a book you wrote. The same holds true for your debts and liabilities. Divorcing couples should consider all factors when doing their financial planning.
MAKE LARGE PURCHASES BEFORE FILING FOR DIVORCE.
The courts generally issue automatic financial restraining orders prohibiting people from making large purchases or liquidating assets after a divorce is filed and served on the opposing party. Anyone considering divorce should buy large items before filing.
KNOW YOUR SPOUSE’S SPENDING, KEEP TRACK OF SPENDING IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD.
If you are considering filing for a divorce or legal separation, you need to take a hard look at your spouse’s financial condition. You should certainly keep tabs on whether your spouse is taking out new lines of credit or is spending extravagantly. You should know the amount of money being spent in your household.
GATHER KEY EVIDENCE BEFORE FILING FOR DIVORCE.
If you are considering filing for divorce, you should take the time to collect all the necessary evidence regarding your assets and liabilities. Take pictures of significant assets, make copies of account statements and write down important numbers. Preparation is essential if you want to come out ahead in a divorce.
HAVE PROPERTY APPRAISED BEFORE YOU SEPARATE.
Remember that when it comes to dissolution of marriage, all marital property is fair game. You can’t hope to get your fair share if you don’t know the value of assets. It makes no sense to guess on the value of assets. Remember, there are experts available who can appraise just about anything.
DON’T HIDE ASSETS.
Attempting to deceive your spouse about finances or hiding or concealing assets can ruin your divorce case. If what you are hiding is discovered, you will lose all credibility in court. You could also face penalties, including attorneys fees and monetary sanctions.
WATCH FOR HIDDEN TAX IMPLICATIONS.
Beware of hidden tax implications complicated by the passage of the new tax law. Come 2018, alimony will no longer be deductible from your taxes. On the other hand, those receiving spousal support must report it as taxable income. Make sure to discuss any significant tax issues. Again, experts are available to advise you regarding hidden tax obligations.
OBTAIN JOB TRAINING.
You should consider taking the time to dust off your resume and enhance your skill set before seeking a divorce. The courts can impute income and expect you to be employed at an appropriate earning capacity. If your kids are now in school and you are not retirement age or disabled, it is foolish to depend too much on an anticipated spousal support award.
USE MEDIATION TO HELP SETTLE YOUR DIVORCE.
It is no secret that divorce litigation can be expensive. Some studies have shown the average cost of legal fees in a divorce is $15,000. Using a skilled mediator can help you reduce these expenses.
ALWAYS KNOW YOUR BIGGEST ASSET.
For most couples, the family home is the single greatest asset in the marital estate. Other more successful couples have substantial retirement or pension accounts. Always know the value of your biggest asset before attempting to divide your estate.
USE EXPERTS WHEN RECOMMENDED BY YOUR ATTORNEY.
Many clients are hesitant to pay for experts when they are going through divorce. However, sometimes having an appropriate expert will greatly improve the outcome of your case. Custody evaluators and forensic accountants can be important tools to obtaining the best possible result in your divorce or custody case.
DIVIDING PROPERTY CAN BE COMPLEX.
The division of assets and properties is an art form all its own. Dividing assets is a three-step process: (1) identify the asset; (2) value the asset; and (3) divide the asset. Determining the value of an asset can be tricky. This is especially true when dividing stock options, retirement accounts and family businesses. Get the help you need.
WHEN IN DOUBT SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PROFESSIONAL.
It is well established in the financial world that would-be divorceesˈ should seek professional help at all costs. You will always do better with a skilled attorney and will save money in the long run.
MAKE SURE YOU FOLLOW THROUGH ON THE DIVORCE.
A surprising number of people fail to timely complete the divorce settlement. Clients should make sure that their bases are covered and check up on their spouses. Make sure the house is refinanced, the mortgage is paid and the property is not in foreclosure. Stay current on court timelines. Failure to do so may destroy your credit for years and also may result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars for failing to take timely action on the sale of the family home or the division of retirement accounts.
COMPROMISE CAN HELP YOU OBTAIN A BETTER RESULT.
Never refrain from compromise out of spite or anger at your former spouse. Compromising on issues can save you a lot of headaches on legal fees when you are going through a divorce. Pick and choose your battles.
BELTS ARE ALWAYS TIGHTENED BY DIVORCE.
It is no secret that divorce will have substantial impact on the finances for the family household. Maintaining two households is always more costly. Make sure you can afford to maintain the assets you receive. It makes no sense to insist on keeping a home in which you can’t afford to live. Consider what assets you value most and be prepared to let some go.
ALWAYS DRESS APPROPRIATELY FOR COURT.
Dressing appropriately for court is essential. Clients should remember to keep their dress professional and avoid dressing in a manner that is either sloppy and unkempt or flashy and overly pompous. Dressing appropriately shows the court that you are serious about your case and the expected outcome.
CONTACT PAUL F. SHERMAN FOR EXPERT ADVICE ON YOUR DIVORCE.
We know you have questions and we have answers. If you would like more information on the dissolution process, call the Law Offices of Paul F. Sherman at (503) 223-8441 or Contact Us for a free divorce or child custody consultation.