Are you worried about what your finances will look like post-divorce? You’ve got good reason to be concerned. Marriage dissolution very well might be the biggest financial transaction you undertake in your life, which is why you need to ensure that you know every aspect of your marital estate. This is easier said than done, though, which is why it might be beneficial to have a skilled legal advocate on your side during these matters. With that being said, let’s take a closer look at some of the financial issues that you need to carefully consider before moving forward with your case.
How can you gain a complete picture of your marital estate?
Determining the extent of the marital estate can be much more challenging than just adding up bank accounts and your home equity. Each of the following can be highly contested in your divorce, which is one reason why you might want legal help building your arguments around them.
- Commingled assets: In Massachusetts, marital assets are to be divided in an equitable fashion, which doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be divided equally. However, to ensure that you’re getting your fair share of marital assets, you need to consider whether property that otherwise might be considered individual property was commingled with marital assets. If those individual assets were, then they will likely be subjected to property division. For example, if you own a home prior to marriage but then your spouse makes payments on the mortgage or helps pay for improvements, then the house might be considered a marital assets. The same can occur with bank accounts and other pieces of property.
- Hidden assets: We’ve discussed hidden assets previously on the blog, but it’s worth mentioning again here. If you suspect that your spouse is hiding or squandering assets, then you need to bring it to the judge’s attention. Otherwise, you might be missing out on significant assets that you’re entitled to.
- Proper valuations: If you have expensive pieces of personal property or a business, then its critical that you get an accurate valuation of the asset prior to divorce. If you and your spouse simply agree to assign a value to an asset, you might end up getting the short end of the stick. You can hire professionals to help you here, but be prepared for you spouse to have experts who will contradict your position on value. Your divorce attorney an help you navigate these issues.
- Emphasize factors that play to your advantage: When considering what constitutes equitable division of marital assets, the court will consider a number of factors. There are a lot of them, so you should really try to hone in on those factors that play to your advantage. For example, if the length of the marriage and the fact that you’ll be the custodial parent are favorable to your position, then focus on that. This doesn’t mean ignore the other factors. You should be prepared to counter those factors that are contrary to your position.
Be thorough in your approach to property division
Property division during the divorce process can be much more complicated than many people realize. That’s why it’s important that you understand what’s at stake in your case and how to best position yourself for success. If you don’t, then you might see negative ramifications for a long-time to come. After all, while you might get a second shot at child custody, child support, and even alimony, property division is final once your divorce decree is issued. Therefore, you shouldn’t leave anything to chance and should instead develop the thorough legal approach that you need. Skilled divorce legal professionals like those at our firm stand ready to assist you in building the case that you deserve.