Taking your time with the divorce now may save you later

Many Maryland couples who are experiencing the hurt and discord associated with divorce proceedings often just want the whole thing completed as quickly as possible. Some experts are cautioning against that impulse though in order to save you money and further heartache down the road.

Of the divorce lawyers who were interviewed, the consensus seems to be that when going through the difficult divorce proceedings, it is best to (1) be truthful, (2) know your assets, and (3) choose your timing carefully. These three pieces of advice can go a long way in helping couples avoid a hasty end to the marriage that leaves money or future headaches on the table.

  • 1. Be truthfulIf you are dishonest about either financial or non-financial aspects of your marriage, it may come back to haunt you in court and in your pocketbook. If you need to, hire a financial expert to help you sort thoroughly through your assets in order to make sure that all are accounted for accurately. This is especially important if you have a business or estates to take into account for the divorce.
  • 2. Know your assetsIf you have a business, estates, or a 401(k) make sure that all are accurately accounted for and discuss with your attorney how to best protect each. Also, if you had a prenuptial agreement going into the marriage, have your attorney review that document to ensure that it is adhered to correctly. Another document to check with your lawyer about is any wills, trusts, or other estate plans you may have created during the marriage. Different states have different laws regarding changing those prior to and after a divorce.
  • 3. Choose your timing carefullyWhen you begin a divorce proceeding, it freezes your assets as well as your business and estate valuations from that point forward until resolved. If you are planning on expanding your business or need assets available to you, discuss with an attorney what timing may be best for when to proceed with the divorce. Most likely, the answer in those two instances will be the sooner the better to protect a bigger slice of the business pie from getting taken in the proceedings.

If you are thinking about a divorce, please consult with an attorney practiced in the area of family law. Their skills and knowledge will be able to help you best assess how to proceed.

Source: Fox Business, “Divorce Attorneys Share Their Tips to Avoid Financial Mistakes When Splitting Up,” Kate Rogers, Feb. 19, 2013

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