Divorce can be complicated and messy, even later in life when the kids are grown and have families of their own. By this point, you and your husband have acquired some high-value assets, such as real estate, investment portfolios and retirement accounts. You have worked for years to build your wealth and now it is at risk because of your impending divorce.
One of the biggest mistakes people make during a divorce is rushing the process and not taking the time to put things in order and take the necessary steps to protect your assets. Fortunately, a Pompano Beach divorce attorney can give you the guidance you need to keep what is yours. Read further for six things to avoid in order to limit financial loss during divorce.
1. Hidden assets
Take the time to make a detailed and thorough list of all of your assets, both jointly owned and separate. Examine bank accounts for questionable withdrawals. Look over your investment accounts for any transfers of non-cash assets. Also keep in mind that year-end bonuses and other types of earned income will also be part of your divorce settlement. If you are worried that your husband might be hiding assets, hire a private investigator to look into the situation.
2. Not considering tax consequences
Be sure to take the time to understand the tax basis for property that is part of your divorce settlement. For example, if you agree to take the vacation house and allow your spouse to keep a retirement account of the same value, you could each face different tax consequences when you sell the property versus what he faces when he receives distributions.
3. Joint accounts
If you are considering divorce, joint accounts could cause a problem. There are cases of spouses emptying joint accounts on the eve of divorce and leaving the other without access to cash. In other cases, one spouse has stopped making payments on joint debt, such as a mortgage, to force the other to give up ownership of the financed asset.
4. Cashing out retirement accounts
Avoid taking early distributions from your retirement accounts. Doing so could lead to less available funds once you are ready to fully retire in addition to early withdrawal penalties.
5. Letting your emotions dictate your actions
Do not allow your emotions to cloud your judgment when it comes to valuing assets. Sentimental value does not translate into real value. Let a valuation professional handle assigning monetary value to your assets.
6. Misjudging jurisdiction
Be sure to take the time to become familiar with Florida divorce laws concerning property division and spousal support. Unless you have marital agreements in place, such as a prenuptial, your divorce settlement is subject to the jurisdiction of a Florida judge.
If you are considering divorce, it is important that you take certain steps to protect your assets.
Source: Nov. 30, -0001