Preparing Financially for the Possibility of Florida Divorce
Divorces very rarely leave both former spouses 100% happy with the outcome, and when marital assets are valued high, even a tiny tilt in one direction can lead to unfair results. Despite hoping for the best, you should never wait until after your divorce is finalized to plan financially for this new phase of your life. Proactive financial planning protects you, your family, and your future.
At The Bardine Law Firm, we understand the complexities of asset division, alimony, and debt responsibility that come with divorce. Our team has helped countless Florida residents transition to a new period of their lives well-prepared for whatever comes their way. Contact us today at (727) 605-7078 to get started.
Financial Risks of Florida Divorce
When it comes to divorce, the financial stakes are always high. By understanding the risks involved, you have a much better chance of preparing adequately and protecting your long-term interests. Here are some financial aspects you should consider:
- Asset Division: In a divorce, assets like property, investments, and even untouched retirement accounts may be divided between the two spouses.
- Alimony and Child Support: Depending on the circumstances, one spouse may be required to pay alimony or child support, ongoing payments sure to significantly impact your financial stability post-divorce.
- Debt Responsibility: Debts acquired during Florida marriages are generally considered marital debts and may be divided between both parties – anything from credit card debts to mortgages and student loans.
Each of these elements carries its own set of complexities and possible hurdles. For example, the division of assets is not always a 50-50 split, instead being affected by prenuptial agreements and the judge’s discretion regarding financial contributions during the marriage. Similarly, alimony and child support payments may be correctly administered from the outset, but situations change, and failing to prepare your finances may cause you to be incapable of keeping up with payments as time goes on.
Financial Preparation Steps
Preparing financially for a divorce isn’t a passive process. To truly set yourself up for success, you need to take proactive steps to safeguard your financial future. Here are some steps to consider and go over with a trusted attorney:
- Creating a Clear Budget: Before you can understand what you stand to lose or gain in a divorce, you need to have a clear picture of your current financial situation. Create a detailed budget that includes income, expenses, assets, and liabilities.
- Gathering Financial Documents: Collect relevant financial documents such as bank statements (for personal and joint accounts), tax returns, investments, and property deeds. These documents will be an integral part of asset division and alimony calculations.
- Opening Separate Accounts: If you have joint accounts, consider opening separate bank and credit accounts once proceedings start. This can help you establish financial independence post-divorce and simplify asset division.
- Strategizing: With an attorney, you should begin creating a detailed plan of how to argue in negotiations, a way to hold on to as much as you are rightfully owed under the law. If you have a business or other important personal endeavor, you should strategize ways to keep this entity 100% under your control.
Taking these steps can offer you a clearer perspective on what you need to protect and what you can negotiate during the divorce proceedings. For instance, creating a budget can help you identify non-essential assets you might be willing to part with in exchange for keeping a controlling interest in a family business.
Beyond simply helping you in negotiations, attorneys provide a wealth of knowledge, having gone through the divorce process from start to finish hundreds of times. By hiring an attorney for your Florida divorce, you also gain the benefits of:
- Financial Planning: An attorney can help you create a financial plan that aligns with your current goals and protects the interests of you and your family.
- Avoiding Mistakes: Legal advice can help you steer clear of common financial pitfalls, such as overlooking assets, agreeing to unfavorable terms, or having clerical errors that jeopardize your position in court.
Contact A St. Petersburg Divorce Attorney Today
Even in the simplest, most cooperative divorces, you should never leave huge financial questions for the future. Understanding the very clear risks and taking proactive steps to protect your future interests can make a world of difference in your financial stability post-divorce. At The Bardine Law Firm, we’re here to vigorously promote your interests and guide you through the entire divorce process. Contact us today at (727) 605-7078 or through our website to speak to our team.