If you are starting divorce proceedings and want to hire a divorce attorney, remember the two of you become a team. The lawyer you hire must trust that you have represented yourself and the details of your marriage honestly, and you must trust that he or she will ask the right questions and make the right moves to represent you. Usually, divorces are not wonderfully amicable. That means you may not get full disclosure from your soon-to-be-ex spouse, especially about finances.
You are at a disadvantage if your spouse has always paid the bills and made the investments. If you haven’t actually filed for the divorce yet, get informed about how much you have in savings, and where those accounts are, what is owed on credit cards, how much life insurance you have and where those policies are kept, and other financial information. These are things both marital parties should know even in a stable marriage, in the event one spouse might die. Knowing this financial information will make the difference in how fairly you are treated in the settlement. Your attorney should be able to obtain records of credit applications and bankruptcy as well. A $25,000 vehicle listed on a bankruptcy statement should not become a $10,000 vehicle when it is considered on a property settlement.
You should remember that you will probably have to pay taxes on the assets you are awarded in the divorce. In addition, since divorces do not happen overnight, taxes that accrue during the separation must be considered in a settlement. Besides taxes, if you are awarded a significant item, perhaps a vacation home, or if you are awarded your primary home, keep in mind that there are insurance payments and upkeep on these properties. A settlement should spell out who is financially responsible for these things, especially if there are dependent children who will reside with you.
Another important area is shared and individual property and debt. If your spouse takes out a credit card before you have filed, for instance, are you liable for the bills accrued for gifts given to romance someone else? If you inherit property after you file but before you are divorced, it is still marital property? It turns out that the answer to these questions depend upon when you filed and where you live.
Divorce finance is a complex matter and finances are only one consideration. If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of dissolving a marriage, it is important to make sure that all issues are addressed fairly. Laws differ from state-to-state, and you need a professional to guide you through the process.
If you are looking for a Tampa divorce attorney with the background and experience to help, contact us. We know what to look for and where to find it to ensure that you will come out of your divorce financially whole.