Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Divorce Attorney Can Help You to Sort Through Your Finances

An attorney can help you to untangle your finances when getting a divorce. That is exactly what divorce is – an untangling of two lives and everything that is part of life.  This applies to large obvious things like a house to small things like a safety deposit box.  Anything that you own has to be sorted through with decisions made as to how it will be divided or who will keep what. This can be extremely tedious, especially for people that have been married a long time. 

It is wise to start by creating an inventory of every item that you own, every financial account, and every debt.  We can provide you with worksheets to take notes on.  Once this is done each item should be assigned a value, unless it is purely sentimental.  This way when everything is divided and it is easy to tell how fair the split is.  
The challenge is that most people cannot handle dividing everything up with their ex-spouse.  Tensions can be high, and each item represents a story or memory which can make emotions heightened.  Having an attorney help you to sort through everything is often the best way to go about it.  Most people are less inclined to be as emotional or passionate with a third party in the room so it can help to keep things calm.  If you and your ex each have an attorney, you can do this by having everyone sit down in a room for an hour or two.  Otherwise you can use the same attorney as a moderator.  This is typically only possible if you are getting along very well. 
When dividing larger assets it is common for the debt to stay with it.  For example, if you are keeping your home, the mortgage would also be your responsibility.  If they are keeping the truck, they will have the debt and payments associated with it.  For this reason some people choose not to have an equitable division of assets because they don’t want to make the debt payments.  If no one wants the asset or debt, a plan needs to be created for how to sell or liquidate it.  

Splitting up financial accounts can also be challenging.  Savings accounts are often split down the middle but retirement accounts can be a touchy issue. An attorney can help you to negotiate a compromise for these things when possible.  If one cannot be reached a judge will decide when the case goes to trial.  Reaching a compromise as quickly as possible is actually in your best interests.  It will make it possible for you to begin using the funds instead of having them frozen pending trial.  This can help you to pay for living expenses, etc.  It is okay if you can only reach an agreement on some of your assets and accounts.  Once an agreement is reached it can be signed and those items will not need to be addressed at trial which will shorten the process and remove unnecessary complications.  

To learn more about how an attorney can help you, call Keen & Genochio Attorneys at Law today.