The intricacies of a divorce settlement only hit you when it becomes a reality. You not only have to deal with the emotional trauma, but you need to make sound financial judgments. Divorce settlements are complex, and this is why you need a family lawyer. If you are contemplating on divorce or have filed for it, you need to know what not to do. Luckily for you, many have gone before you and you can learn from their mistakes.
Once you have decidedly chosen to end the marriage, there is no point in delaying the settlement. After you have been separated, family expenditures can increase by a huge percent. There are also bills accruing as a result of running two homes. Ferrying the kids every now and then is also an added expense. Before a settlement agreement has been made, mortgages go up, debts accumulate and credit ratings are affected negatively. Remember that the court will term these debts as a joint debt, so unnecessary delays can lead to decrease of asset values. Again, it may make one of the parties liable in a way that affects their financial status.
Siphoning cash to offshore accounts, transferring money and properties and stacking money under mattresses are some of the methods used to hide assets. At the time, it looks like a good idea, but it can be very costly in the end. The courts will not take it lightly if one the parties deliberately attempts to reduce the property pool. Once the court discovers this deception, the hidden assets are added back to the pool. What is worse is that the court will also make its own inference as a result of this action. This is bound to affect their judgment, and they may rule in favor of the person who did not hide assets.
Drawing from Joint Funds
Legal bills and fees tend to mount up very quickly during a divorce settlement. The mistake that most people make is tapping into mutual funds. Remember that after divorce, each of the parties is expected to meet their own legal costs. Any amount that was drawn from the joint funds must be added back to the pool. This means that if you spend anything, the amount drawn will be deducted from your share.
Keeping the House
Letting go of a place you called home is not easy. However, you need to realistically assess what it means to keep the house. Can you meet the expenses of running the home on your own? If not, the smart move would be to sell it and then split the proceeds.
For more information and tips to avoid these mistakes, talk with a family lawyer, such as those at Marino Law.
Hello, all. I am a volunteer worker at an outreach centre which helps people of all ages with financial problems. I have come to realise that many of these people face hardships due to life-changing incidents such as unfair dismissal, a workplace injury or a car accident. Many of them are hard workers who aren’t aware of their legal rights. Last year, our outreach centre brought a lawyer on board to provide legal advice and assistance. I help by scheduling appointments, taking notes and following up on each case. I have learnt an awful lot about our laws and am impressed how knowing the right legal avenues can change people’s lives. I have just started a legal assistant’s course and thought this blog might be a good place to record the knowledge I gain. I hope you find it useful and insightful. Thank you for stepping into my world.