The Financial Secrets You Need To Know In Divorce
Without question, divorce takes a toll on you psychologically. But emotions aside, there are some serious financial issues that impact divorce, and it’s critical that you set aside your feelings and address those money issues with a clear head!
Basically Everything is Up for Grabs: That’s right—even things that may never have crossed your mind can be divided in a divorce. That includes your frequent flier miles, and the bonus you got at Christmas. Just because it’s “yours” it doesn’t make it yours.
Look at Recent Loan Applications: If someone is going to report their income in the most generous light, it’s going to be on a loan application, not a tax filing. So take a peek at any recent applications; it could give you insights into the real bottom line.
Follow Your Attorney’s Advice: It will save you money to heed your attorney’s advice, whether it be to hire a forensic accountant or private detective, or to stay off of social media for a while. So listen.
Get Appraisals: Make sure you know the value of your property so that in negotiations you don’t have to guess. Sometimes collections like, say, stamps or coins, may be worth more than you might imagine. Obviously, the same is true for basic assets like houses and vehicles.
Never Try to Conceal Assets: You may think it’s no big deal to keep mum about secret holdings or property you have. Besides angering the court should the deception be discovered, you could wind up with pretty serious penalties. So put it all out there up front!
Be Aware of Tax Implications: Couples often trade off one asset for another—say the family home for retirement accounts. Be aware of the taxes that will attach to any decisions.
Remember to Change Beneficiary Designations: It may be the last thing on your mind—but it’s crucial that you make changes to your will and life insurance policies after the dissolution of marriage is granted. Changes to beneficiary designations cannot be made under Missouri law prior to the divorce judgment.
Take Note of the Date: Do you want your divorce finalized in the current calendar year, or would be better off with a January split? In some cases, it may make a difference.
Think About Who Will Claim Kids on Taxes: Who gets to claim the deduction for the kids? Will you switch off every other year? Allow Mom to claim one and Dad to claim another? Will the custodial parent get to claim everyone all the time?
Compromise Helps: If you’re feeling particularly bitter, you may have no desire to let your spouse walk away with anything remotely close to a win. But the truth is, compromise can save you a lot of time and money, and might even encourage your spouse to do the same.
Getting it Right
There are all kinds of decisions that have to be made in a divorce. At Courtney & Mills, our experienced Springfield family attorneys are committed to listening to your goals and working toward the best outcomes for you. To discuss your situation, schedule a confidential consultation in our office today.