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Articles Posted in Property Distribution

Rushing-Divorce-FL-Blog-300x200For most couples, divorce isn’t a decision arrived at overnight. Usually, the decision to divorce comes after long periods of living with irreconcilable differences and numerous attempts to resolve conflicts. It is understandable then why, once the decision to divorce is finally reached, couples just want it to be over with so they can get on with their lives. Rushing through the divorce process, however, can be a bad idea.

No matter the reasons behind a couple’s decision, divorce can be a very emotional process. Those emotions can hamper a couple’s ability to make good, sound decisions. Agreeing to something for the sake of getting the divorce over with can negatively impact life post-divorce. To learn more about why rushing through a divorce is never a good idea, read “How Long Will My Divorce Take?

Settlement_Agreement_AdobeStock_236389547-300x200When negotiating your divorce settlement, it is important to carefully review every detail. Once a settlement agreement is reviewed and signed by both parties, the divorce is considered finalized. What happens then if it is discovered that something has been left out of the agreement? What recourse, if any, do you have?

The answer depends, in part, on whether the oversight is discovered by both spouses who then agree on the distribution of the assets involved, or if only one spouse realizes that an oversight has been made and seeks to amend it. To learn more, read “Steps to Take When an Issue in a Divorce Settlement Is Overlooked.”

Retirement-plans-FL-blog-300x200The distribution of assets can be one of the most complicated and contentious aspects of any divorce. That applies to the division of retirement accounts, too. Failure to correctly identify the type of retirement plan involved can lead to tax complications down the line.

Distributions from IRAs and Qualified Retirement Accounts are subject to different tax treatments. Understanding the rules that apply to the division of assets from each type of account can help assure that any applicable tax burden is attributed to the correct party. To better understand these differences and their potential tax liabilities, read “How to Split IRAs and Other Retirement Plans During a Divorce.”

separation_and_stimulus_checks_AdobeStock_334809261-300x192The stimulus payments many people received to help ease some of the financial hardships incurred as a result of restrictions stemming from the COVID-19 virus were based on information the government obtained from recently filed income tax returns, specifically information relating to adjusted gross income and filing status. As a result, married couples filing jointly received joint stimulus checks, if eligible.

What happens for married couples who divorce or separate between the time they filed their latest joint tax return and the time they received their stimulus payment? Does marital status change who is entitled to the money? For answers read, “We’re getting divorced. Can I keep my husband’s stimulus check?”

Shared-Finances-AdobeStock_297795500-300x169Even when a couple grows apart, it doesn’t always mean they stop caring for each other, particularly if they had been in a long-term marriage. They may lead separate lives, both physically and emotionally, yet remained legally married because their finances are so intertwined that moving from shared to separate accounts is more complex than simply divvying up their assets. Fear and uncertainty prevent them from finalizing their divorce.

Understanding what to expect your financial future to look like after divorce, especially in terms of major issues like taxes, healthcare and even income, is the first step toward freeing yourself to move on with your new single life. To learn more, read “How To Free Yourself Financially From Your Ex-Spouse.”

Divorce-and-virus-400-04972504d-300x189

If you filed for divorce immediately prior to or during this time of COVID-19, chances are good that your case is experiencing delays. The restrictions imposed to help stop the spread of this virus have caused the closure of a number of businesses, government agencies and many courts to all but emergency cases. Not only may these restrictions be causing a delay in the final judgement on your divorce, but they are impacting a number of related issues including financial settlements, spousal and child support requests and child custody matters.

The impact COVID-19 is having on divorces and related issues is discussed in more detail in the Forbes article, “6 Ways The Coronavirus Can Infect Your Divorce – And Simple Steps To Protect Yourself.”

marital-house-400-04680478d-300x199The distribution of assets is one of the biggest hurdles, after matters pertaining to children, that a divorcing couple faces. While it may be easy to assign ownership to certain assets, big-ticket items like the family home are a different story. Some couples just want a clean break. They sell the house, split the proceeds and move on. For others, it is not that simple.

There are a number of reasons someone would want to keep the house following divorce, the main one having to do with not uprooting the children. Another reason is not wanting the added challenge of adjusting to a new home, with or without children. Whatever your reason, once you decide you want the house, the next step is to figure out how to make this happen — buy out your ex, take out a loan, swap another asset for the ex’s share of the house. For a guideline on what to consider before fighting for the house, read “Follow These Steps To Keep The House After Divorce” and make sure you can afford it.

divorce-small-business-400-04065501d-300x194Couples rarely enter a marriage thinking that their union will one day end in divorce. Yet, it happens, and when it does the financial consequences can be catastrophic, especially for the small business owner. In this case, divorce not only impacts your immediate family, but also your business partners and employees.

A business can become part of the property battle between divorcing couples. Sole proprietors or those who are in business with their spouse potentially can lose everything. The divorce of a business owner in partnership with non-family members, on the other hand, can be financially damaging to those partners. And then there’s the drain on the company finances, not to mention the emotional toll on the divorcing owner – these can trickle down to affect everyone who works with the company. To learn more about the toll divorce can have on a small business and the strategies that might help lessen that toll, read “In owners’ divorces, businesses can become part of the fight.”

financial-documents-400-09093918d-300x225It isn’t unusual in a marriage for one spouse to assume responsibilities for managing the family finances and investments. Hopefully, that spouse has a good handle on the family’s overall financial health; the non-managing spouse, on the other hand, too often is unaware of details that could serve him or her well when catastrophic events like death or incapacity and even divorce disrupt a marriage. While the death or injury of a spouse can come without notice, divorce is usually preceded by signs. When you first notice those signs, it’s time to assess your financial situation so you can make decisions that will lead to your financial security now and in the future.

In her article, “3 Documents Women Investors Need Before a Divorce,” author Leslie Thompson discusses specific documents that can help you accomplish this. Although geared toward women, this advice is beneficial for anyone who’s headed for divorce without a clear understanding of their assets and liabilities.

credit-card-debt-400-04377239d-300x200Marriage is a partnership, therefore, it is not unusual for couples to share both assets and liabilities while they are together, but what happens in a divorce? Usually spouses, with the help of their lawyers, will work to reach agreements for the distribution of property and other assets. The court may intervene if amicable agreements can’t be reached. However, the distribution of debt, particularly credit card debt, is a different story.

Depending on the specific circumstances of a divorce, the court may make determinations on the repayment of debt. For instance, the court may rule one spouse is solely liable for the debt repayment, or it can rule on the percentage of liability each spouse holds for the satisfaction of their debt. That ruling, however, does not negate the original terms of the credit agreement. Because credit cards represent a contractual agreement between card issuer and cardholder (i.e., the person in whose name the card was issued), credit card companies hold the cardholder ultimately responsible for any and all payments due on the card. That holds true even if the charges were made by someone else, such as an authorized card user. If a court rules someone other than the cardholder is responsible for debt repayment, it is up to the cardholder to see that ruling is enforced.

To learn more about divorce and credit card obligations and the recourse you may have, read “This is how credit card debt gets split up in a divorce.”

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