Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Your Divorce Settlement
When judges attempt to determine how to divide a couple’s assets during divorce, they assess what they think an equitable split would be, which rarely turns out to be an exactly equal division. Instead, courts consider a lot of factors, like how each party contributed to the marriage, both spouse’s incomes, and each person’s access to separate assets. It’s important to note, however, that it isn’t always necessary to leave this decision in the hands of a judge. In fact, in most cases, courts prefer that couples negotiate these issues in an out-of-court setting through mediation. When attempting to come up with a property settlement, there are a few things that couples can do to increase their chances of reaching a fair agreement. Read on to learn more.
Hire a Forensic Accountant
When a couple has a particularly acrimonious relationship, or have acquired significant assets during their marriage, it is far likelier that one of the spouses will attempt to hide or waste some of those assets. One of the best ways to prevent this is to hire a forensic accountant who can make sure that all separate and jointly owned assets are accounted for and can also keep an eye out for suspicious activities, like unexplained withdrawals, transfers of assets to family members or friends, or below-market sales of valuable property. Courts do not look favorably on spouses who try to hide assets during divorce and if such activity is discovered, will likely award the wronged spouse a greater portion of the assets.
Work with a Personal Accountant
While forensic accountants can help divorcing couples track down their assets, a personal accountant will be in a better position to help the parties determine how much money they need every month to pay their expenses and maintain their standard of living. Having a thorough grasp of these numbers is important, especially when it comes to determining alimony and child support. Those with specific needs, like a medical condition that requires additional expenses and could prevent a person from returning to work on a full-time basis, will also benefit from having the advice of a personal accountant who can weigh those needs and ensure that they are accounted for during negotiations.
While it can be tempting to engage in hard bargaining during divorce, especially when tempers are high, it can quickly lead to the breakdown of negotiations and the necessity of further litigation. Instead, couples should try to enter into negotiations in good faith, with an idea of what they hope to gain from the exchange, but also with a willingness to compromise. Many couples benefit from mediation or collaborative divorce, which leave decision making in the hands of the divorcing couple and help keep court costs down.
Talk to a Dedicated Largo Divorce Lawyer
There are a lot of benefits to consulting with a lawyer early in the divorce process, including preventing a spouse from hiding assets, being able to conduct a more thorough investigation into one’s finances, and attempting negotiation before going to court. If you are thinking about filing for divorce, the dedicated Largo divorce lawyers at Cairns Law are here to help.