Any divorce can take both a significant emotional and mental toll on a person. However, this process can also come along with huge financial tolls, especially if there is a mistake made on your part. In a divorce, even a minor error can cause you to suffer an unexpected financial loss. Make sure you know how to protect yourself.
Make sure you aren't forgetting about any assets you have. Even if your failure to include an asset in your records was an innocent oversight, a judge can still penalize you for this. Assets aren't always as obvious as investment accounts, property or bonds.
Assets can also come in the form of antique furniture, a baseball card collection or jewelry. It all comes down to value. While there is no set marker, anything you consider to be valuable should probably be listed. If you fail to do so, a judge could award the asset to your spouse if it is perceived that you were trying to hide it.
Although you likely have a fairly good idea how much money you need to survive each month, during a divorce, it's best to double-check these numbers. Take some time to write down all your income sources and your expenses. Should you be seeking alimony or at risk for paying alimony, accurate information is important.
In terms of seeking alimony, underestimating your expenses could result in you asking for an amount that is too low to help you meet your obligations, placing you in a financial strain. If you are at risk for paying alimony, underestimating your expenses could result in you paying more money than you technically afford.
Assuming Equal Division Is Fair Division
When it comes to a divorce settlement, an equal division of property doesn't always equate to a fair division. Take a couple with a family and rental home, for example. The family home has 15 years left on the mortgage and the rental property only has 3 years left.
Whichever spouse gets the rental property is getting the better deal because the house will be paid off sooner. The mortgage details, current market value and the income generating potential of each property should be assessed before reaching any type of division agreement.
The Ultimate Protection
If you are facing a difficult divorce, an attorney can be your best advocate. In addition to taking over much of the effort, your attorney can serve as a fact checker to help eliminate the risk of a costly mistake. If you're looking for an attorney in your area, visit Metropolitan Lawyer Referral Service Inc.