Splitting Assets in Divorce
Setting you up for a great future
On the day you said “I do,” the fact that you entered a business transaction likely never entered your mind. Now that you’re going through a divorce, you’ve come to that harsh realization and are experiencing how challenging it is to end your marital business agreement.
Marriage is very specific in terms of the law, and those laws vary by state. There can even be implementation differences by judges in various counties or even in the same courthouse. The division of assets in a divorce is not about hashing out past mistakes, it’s about ensuring you have what’s needed to create a new future.
Divorce planning for finances and much more
There is a lifecycle for divorce that starts when you begin to wonder if this is the path you are going to take and lasts well after when your divorce is finalized. Our BDF ClearPath℠ shows a way for individuals to navigate the process of divorce. For those on this winding road, it’s hard to remember that divorce, in most locales, is really about dividing parental responsibilities and splitting family assets.
No matter where you are in the divorce lifecycle, we’ll help you navigate.
Prepare for what you will face with divorce. Divorce may or may not be the path you choose to take. From connecting you to counselors to explaining the divorce process to providing a pre-divorce checklist, we’ll ensure you have information that will help you answer this complex, difficult and personal question.
Create your empowerment team. You must focus not only on the business aspects of the divorce process but also the emotional ones. And you’ll want to use the right person for the right role. If you haven’t yet selected a divorce attorney or mediator, we’ll help you get started. Then we can help you identify people you need on your team like a banker, insurance broker, divorce coach, therapist and anyone else who can help in your unique situation
Gather your financial information. You may have more financial records than you even realize. We’ll help you identify what you might have – from bank accounts to pension and retirement accounts to memberships and perks – so your legal team can begin preparing the financial records needed during the process.
Protect yourself financially. Should you keep the house? What should you do about health insurance? Do you still want your soon to be ex-spouse as your power of attorney? Who should manage your children’s inheritance should you pass away? Have you closed all your joint debt? We’ll guide you through scenarios you haven’t considered and connect you to any resources needed.
Calculate current expenses and assets. Working with your attorney, we can help you account for all your monthly expenses to help prepare your financial affidavit. This is more than your mortgage and food bills. It’s entertainment, healthcare, travel and home maintenance. Plus, all the expenses for your children. Your marital balance statement will include all your assets from cash to pensions to business interest as well as any debt.
SettleSmart℠. Does the proposed agreement make sense for the long haul? We help you and your attorney make this decision by looking at either a written offer you have received or are considering making, as well as the tax implications of it, so you understand exactly what you would get. Perhaps you’d be better off taking one asset over another or, by showing you how this agreement will play out in real life, you can decide if you’re ready to settle or if it’s worth the extra to renegotiate.
Determine divorce taxes. An important part of the divorce settlement is knowing what you’ll owe in taxes so that it can be considered in how the overall assets are divided. Just because assets are similarly valued, doesn’t mean they have the same value after taxes. By helping you minimize your taxes, you’ll have more money to fund the life you want to create.
Ensure accurate splitting of assets. After your divorce is finalized, you then begin the division of assets process. You want to make sure you get what you are entitled to and that the split is as financially and tax-advantageous as possible. For example, care must be used to ensure pension and retirement benefits are distributed according to the Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs) to avoid penalties.
Take The Next Step
The complex emotions you are feeling are made more challenging, no matter your financial acumen, by divorce finances. Stand strong, put together a good team, take the time to get organized and learn about the issues at stake. You can get through your divorce with the least amount of cost, complexity and collateral damage as possible.
As a member of your divorce team, we’ll help you form a clear-eyed vision so you can make smart decisions as you step boldly into your future.