- by Mary Stearns-Montgomery
- in Divorce
In the 3rd part of our series, we will discuss the intricacies that may arise from a financial perspective when going through a divorce. Typically, finances finish a close second behind child custody issues when it comes to items that are harshly disputed between the parties going through divorce proceedings. It is imperative that you conduct the proper research and arm yourself accordingly. In doing so, you can take steps towards preventing a potential shortfall resulting from your financial settlement.
Be sure to assess your investments and financial holdings
It is absolutely vital that you create an extremely thorough list of assets that may come into play during the divorce proceedings. These assets may include, but are not limited to, items such as:
- Savings accounts
- Retirement assets (401k, 403b, IRA Accounts)
- Real estate holdings
- Life insurance
- Individual checking accounts
- Collectibles and art
- Ownership in business entities
Make sure you list all of the liabilities as well.
Secondly, please do not forget the monies owed by both parties in the marriage. You certainly do not want to be unnecessarily burdened with debt if at all possible. A few examples of debt that you need to assess include:
- Student Loans
- Credit Card Debt
- Back Taxes Owed
With the individual creditors, you will need to take detailed notes that list the name of the creditor, the total amount owed, the monthly payment, and most importantly, who was responsible for incurring the debt. The more documentation provided the better. Obtaining copies of all three of your credit reports will ensure nothing is left out of the final agreement or judgment.
Consult an expert when dealing with financial aspects of divorce
Finally, please understand that while your attorney is well versed in the intricacies of financial divorce proceedings, they may not have expertise when it comes to the individual laws that pertain to each asset and liability class. It is usually a good idea to hire an expert to access your investments and other assets, as these items can be complex on an individual basis. These experts can also review your liabilities to ensure that you aren’t burdened with additional financial ramifications coming out of your divorce proceedings. If possible, a financial advisor and tax professional should be on your short list of people with whom you should connect.
The attorneys at Stearns Montgomery & Proctor have extensive experience when it comes to issues of finances and divorce. They can point you in the right direction to make sure that this aspect of your divorce goes as smoothly as possible, helping you to come out the other side ready to start anew.