Financial Divorce Issues to Consider
If you are facing divorce, it is important for you to be informed about the financial divorce issues to consider before serving up papers. Here is what you need to know.
Financial Divorce Issues to Consider | What happens to premarital assets?
What constitutes a “premarital” asset can sometimes be difficult to determine, unless a spouse took measures to keep an asset strictly separate over the course of a marriage. If you have a bank account before a marriage and add your spouse onto that account, it will be difficult to figure out what part of that account is “premarital” and what part is “marital.” If you have a 401(k), get married, and decide to dissolve that marriage after 20 years, you must have a statement from before the marriage to demonstrate what was in that account – and you may need to hire a forensic accountant to calculate that money’s growth during the marriage, and an equitable division of its current value.
Financial Divorce Issues to Consider | I think my spouse is hiding assets. What do I do?
This situation can lead to very difficult conversations. Remember, though, that if you think your spouse is hiding assets, or misrepresenting his or her investments or compensation structure, you have a legal right to any information you request. In some cases, you may need to issue a subpoena to attain that information.
Spouses can hide or misrepresent assets in several ways. One spouse might have uninvested stock options. One spouse might own a small, closely held business where revenues are unclear. Although it’s important to let your attorney know if you have any suspicions as soon as possible, you may end up needing a CPA or forensic accountant to examine all taxes and bank accounts.
Financial Divorce Issues to Consider | What will my divorce cost me?
Though there are filing fees, most of the cost of the divorce process comes from your attorney’s hourly rate. It’s not easy to predict the ultimate cost of a divorce from the outset – that will depend on how much time is spent negotiating and litigating, and that, in turn, depends on how quickly you and your spouse can come to an agreement.
You can help to keep costs down by minimizing contact with your attorney, as emails, texts, and phone calls can all count toward “billable hours.” If you’re concerned about keeping costs down, come up with a plan and stick to it; be efficient in communication; and be ready to compromise.
If you have any questions about the financial divorce issues to consider, please call our New Jersey divorce attorney Tanya Freeman today for a free consultation.