19 Jan Divorce, Financial Investments and Assets: How to Protect Yourself
January is the time of year for new beginnings. For many, this may be the year of personal resolutions and self-improvement, while for others this may be the time of year to set off independently and determine that it is time that one’s failing marriage should come to an end. January is notorious for the initiation of actions for divorce as people find the New Year and new beginning a call to set off on a different path than the year before.
Marital Property: How to Assess What You and Your Spouse Own
One of the many concerns when initiating a divorce is the marital property that you and your spouse have accrued over the years. If the marriage was short-term, this may be less of an issue as you and your spouse have had less time to accumulate wealth together and consolidate assets. However, long-term marriages are more difficult, especially when accrued wealth has occurred jointly, and investments and assets are no longer considered separate, but marital property.
Tips for Protecting Your Financial Health at the Start of a Divorce
Below are the best tips when determining how to assess, evaluate, and divide assets and investments at the onset of a divorce:
Understanding Your Marital Property, Investments, Assets, and Debts
The most important advice to all married couples contemplating divorces is to understand which assets and investments are considered joint and marital. Ignorance, in this case, is not bliss and knowing what accounts have been set up, how taxes have been working over the years, what debts have been taken on by each spouse, etc. is crucial.
Shared Tax Liability Is Real
This is not only important for knowing what you and your spouse actually own, but also important in the sense that tax liability is shared between the couple. Even if you have been following local, state, and federal tax laws, this may not necessarily apply to your spouse, who may not have been behaving well over the years. Protecting yourself from your spouse’s illegal actions is crucial.
Hidden Assets Can Be Found With a Lot of Research and a Little Help
Hidden assets are not uncommon. Trustworthiness may be one of the reasons you and your spouse are considering a divorce. Requesting and fully reviewing all documents related to your marital assets is the first step to identifying any hidden accounts or assets that your less-than-trustworthy spouse may have been putting away in anticipation of a divorce; keep in mind that these financial documents may not only be a hard copy but also may be hidden as digital files. Hiring a forensic accountant may be necessary if you and your spouse’s financial condition is more complex than just your run-of-the-mill assets like your home and pension information.
Investments and Assets’ Value is Never Stagnant
Investments and assets should never be considered at face value. Many investments have significant value once they are allowed to appreciate or at the triggering of some future event. Your home, for example, has the potential to increase exponentially in value in a matter of years, just as a stock might; a home and stock, however, should be treated differently.
Plan for the Future
Finally, to fully protect yourself in an impending divorce, you should begin to assess what your single life will look like, and more importantly, what your budget will look like. If you decide that your aim is to stay in the family home, a financial evaluation of what the cost and benefit of that decision will need to be analyzed, among other decisions that you will make in sculpting your new single life. Financial and family law knowledge is power.
Experienced Family Law Attorneys in Mount Pleasant, Charleston Area
Your marital financial status can be extremely difficult to ascertain, especially when you have been married for years. It may be difficult to know what you should want and what you need out of a divorce settlement. An experienced family law attorney at Klok Law Firm LLC can help inform you about what is considered marital property and what is considered separate property and help you start your new beginning with financial security. Contact Klok Law Firm LLC today for a free and confidential consultation.