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December 2016 Archives

How do I ensure my divorce asset division is fair?

When surveying life's financial landscape, most people can gaze into the future and identify some of the major expenses that may come their way, like retirement savings and homeownership. Often, however, people fail to appreciate just what a huge financial burden a divorce can be, especially when it is not approached with sober judgement and planning. If you are headed toward divorce, or in the middle of one now, it is vital that you take stock of your situation and take precautions against the many ways a divorce can shipwreck your financial life.

Don't enter marriage unprotected from your spouse's debt

Entering into a marriage is an innately risky proposition. Although no one enters into a marriage already planning for it to fail, over half of all marriages end in divorce. For those who are approaching a marriage, the prospect of what may be suffered if the marriage fails is an enormous source of anxiety. This can be especially true for those who are engaged to an individual who is carrying a large amount of debt. Debt is a funny kind of monster, capable of following a person around for years, even if it was not theirs to begin with. It is not uncommon for a divorce settlement to include one spouse taking on some of the other's debt as part of a settlement, and this can leave one in the aftermath of a divorce carrying their former spouse's debt with them.

Will I have to pay alimony after a divorce?

This is one of the big questions that comes up when a couple is going through the divorce process. While there is no definitive answer, since each couple's case will be different, it's important to understand how alimony is decided and what factors are considered. The most common reason for alimony is when one spouse has much less employability than the other, usually because they were a stay-at-home parent or were unemployed for a long time.

What are the risks of hiding assets in divorce?

Whenever a couple divorces while holding significant marital assets, there will be a strong temptation for one or both spouses to act unethically in order keep some assets from being split up and diminished during the settlement negotiation. It's an understandable position — after all, why should this other person take half or more of everything? The law itself may simply seem unfair. Regardless of the fairness of the law, the truth of the matter is that attempting to hide or dissipate assets in a divorce settlement will almost certainly result in a worse result than abiding by the rules.

Don't give in to the temptation to lie in discovery

In the divorce world, discovery the process of disclosing and acquiring financial and personal information from your spouse. Often, this can be the point in the process where things begin to head south. For some spouses, there is pressure to minimize the visibility of their assets to avoid having them chopped up and divided in a settlement, while others may believe that a spouse is being untruthful about income to avoid having to pay fair alimony or child support.

Factors a judge may use to determine unequal property division

Determining a fair divorce settlement can become increasingly difficult when a couple has complex assets and is unwilling to work together to find a fair middle ground. It is almost always beneficial to both parties to be willing to work together to reach an acceptable compromise, but if that is not possible, it may be left up to the courts to determine a fair division of assets. If this is the case, there are several grounds that a judge in Florida may use to establish what is fair in a divorce settlement. Some factors may influence a judge to award one side a significantly larger share of marital property than another side.