Avoid These Financial Mistakes During Divorce Proceedings
No one goes into a marriage expecting to separate. For many, building a home with someone they love is their primary goal, and the last thought on their mind is organizing their estate in a way that facilitates an easy divorce. Splitting assets and untangling finances can lead to nasty fights, protracted disagreements, and a huge mental toll on both parties – especially if you don’t have help from a divorce attorney.
If your marriage involves substantial amounts of assets, real estate, and income, walking into divorce negotiations without an experienced divorce attorney is a recipe for disaster that you could be paying for decades in the future. Attorneys help you sidestep any traps placed by opposing counsel to maximize the money you receive as you leave your marriage.
At The Bardine Law Firm, we understand the tremendous stress that separations and divorces can bring. Attorney Johnny Bardine works day and night to amicably resolve divorces while keeping the interests of his clients front and center. Contact us today through our website, email, or phone at (727) 605-7078 to discuss your situation and start receiving representation that protects and fights for your rights.
How Does Florida Split Assets in Divorces?
Under current law, Florida is an ‘equitable distribution’ state regarding divorces. This contrasts with ‘community property’ states that view both marriage partners as jointly owning and responsible for all property, debts, and assets acquired during the marriage – 50/50.
While the process of splitting assets in a community property state is usually quicker, it does not always divide property fairly. In Florida, assets are divided in a way that considers contributing factors surrounding the marriage and divorce. Some factors that affect distribution include:
- The contribution of each person to the marriage, including financial contributions and caretaking/homemaking responsibilities
- The marriage length
- The economic situation of each person following the separation
- The specific details regarding educational and professional opportunities, either supported or forfeited by one person during the marriage
- The desirability of one person controlling the entirety of an asset, like a home or business, to keep control or maintain stability in the lives or careers of those involved
- The number of kids in the family
Judges have discretion when deciding the right amount of marital property to award each party. Outside of the courtroom – if your attorney can work toward a common goal with your former spouse’s attorney – these factors, and more, make up the negotiations that determine how much you will receive.
Financial Mistakes To Avoid
Divorces are emotional undertakings, and divorce attorneys play an integral role in calming tensions and finding a solution that works for everyone. Even with an attorney advising against their actions, some people are adamant that their requests must be met, no matter how foolhardy they might be. To undergo a successful divorce and start your new life, there are some key mistakes to avoid regarding the splitting of finances.
Thinking Only Short Term
While hanging on to a beloved house or new car might seem like valiant goals in a divorce, you should always consider your long-term objectives and financial capabilities. If you plan to move to a new state, is one or two extra years in a familiar home worth the trouble of future real estate headaches? Since the goal of negotiations is to reach an equitable distribution of assets, forgoing a single significant asset like a home should still result in an equal amount of possibly more-fluid assets elsewhere and avoid expensive upkeep costs.
Withholding Financial Information
Keeping financial information from your former spouse, their lawyer, or your own lawyer is all highly discouraged. Not only is this act dishonest, but it can also lead to penalties and jeopardize existing agreements should it come to light you secretly held on to a greater percentage of assets than previously known.
Rushing The Process
During complicated divorce negotiations, trusting your attorney is essential. They work on your behalf to engage with opposing counsel in discussions, investigate potential hidden assets, and get the most favorable terms possible. While no one wants to be burdened by lengthy divorce proceedings, letting your attorney do their job uninterrupted is your best shot at leaving your marriage on even footing.
Contact A St. Petersburg Divorce Attorney Today
The outcome of your divorce negotiations could affect the trajectory of the rest of your life, and you deserve someone in your corner who will fight on your behalf for what is right. At The Bardine Law Firm, Johnny Bardine is passionate about helping St. Petersburg, Pinellas, and Tampa Bay residents start their new life on the right foot. Don’t settle for mediocre representation if you are considering beginning divorce proceedings. Contact our firm today to learn how we can help.