Three Ways You Could Be Hurting Your Assets When You Divorce
No matter which way you slice it, there is nothing fun about the divorce process. Even under the most civil, loving circumstances, the actual split and all it entails can be emotionally - and financially- draining. One area most people do not like to think about but are confronted with very early on in the process is money. Regardless of how peaceful the separation, the subject of money can test anyone’s patience and place them on the defensive, especially when it involves their lifestyle and livelihood following the divorce.
When it comes time to protect your quality of life and all you are accustomed to at the end of your marriage, how you handle your assets is critical. Even the smallest mistake can cost you a lot when it is time to negotiate settlements, and if you’re not careful, some errors can continue to cost you long after the divorce is over.
Here are three ways you could end up hurting your assets and their value when you divorce:
1. Keeping joint accounts
One way you can do serious damage to your funds when you decide to separate is to keep all of your accounts connected. For example, if you and your spouse share checking and savings accounts, credit cards, auto loans, or a mortgage loan, having your name on any of those accounts makes you liable in the event something goes wrong. If your spouse misses a payment on your mortgage, you are held responsible. If you have money tucked away into a savings account and both your names are on the account, all it takes is one heated disagreement for your spouse to potentially drain the account of those funds. Close joint accounts and separate your finances now. Do not wait for the divorce to be finalized or until an argument surfaces, placing your money at risk.
2. Not claiming funds you may have rights to
Invisible assets can cause your financial standing to take a significant hit. The ones you don’t know about cannot be claimed, examined, or negotiated during settlement. Do not make the mistake of missing out on money that may be rightfully yours - you just may need those funds when you begin to rebuild your life post-divorce. When tallying a list of your assets, don’t forget to take inventory of pensions, business interests, and bonus income that was earned before the filing of the divorce. Take the time to do a thorough search for anything that can and should be claimed as an asset.
3. Neglecting to consult with a professional
The proper legal team, including a mediator and a qualified investigator, is critical to the overall success of your financial life following your divorce. Having the right representation by your side during settlement negotiation can literally mean the difference between you being able to pay your rent and put food on the table, or losing your car to repossession. Uncovering any potential funds you may have rights to is just one part of protecting your assets during divorce. You will also need a professional to fight for those rights and help make sure acquiring those assets works in your favor, in the most efficient way possible.
Consult with a knowledgeable Kane County divorce attorney to ensure you do not make any costly mistakes with your assets during the divorce process. Call Shaw Family Law, P.C. today at 630-584-5550 for a special consultation.