5 Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Your Divorce Settlement
It’s hard to put a number on all the effort and sacrifices that you have invested in building a life around a marriage. However, that is exactly what the judge in your divorce court proceeding will attempt to do. When judges are determining how to divide assets in a divorce, they consider what an equitable distribution would be. This does not necessarily mean a 50-50 split. Rather, they will consider a number of factors in determining what a fair share of marital assets would be. In order to get the most out of your divorce settlement, there are some key facts and tips to keep in mind which we’ll discuss here.
- Talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. Some people may not think to talk to a lawyer until they have already informed their spouse of their intent to divorce. However, there are benefits to consulting with a lawyer before notifying your spouse. For instance, notifying your spouse gives them the opportunity to hide or dispose of assets that would otherwise be up for division in the divorce. Consulting with an attorney first can give you some action steps to take prior to moving forward.
- Hire a forensic accountant. Particularly in high-asset divorces, the likelihood of hidden, concealed, or even forgotten assets, is high. For this reason, one of your first steps should be hiring a forensic accountant to make sure that all potentially shared assets are accounted for, and to find any evidence of suspicious activity, such as withdrawals or below-market sales of property or assets.
- Work with a personal accountant. While a forensic accountant will help track down assets, a personal accountant can help you to determine how much money you need each month to meet your needs and maintain your current standard of living. This information will be important when it comes to determining alimony. Your lawyer can also help by making sure that you considered all of your needs and reached the right estimation of costs.
- Document your needs. If you have specific needs, such as a medical condition that will incur additional expenses and that may prevent you from returning to work full-time or even part-time, these needs must be weighed and considered both in the determination of your asset share and spousal support payments. You should be prepared to provide evidence of these needs.
- Negotiate carefully. Hard bargaining can be tempting, especially when tempers and emotions are high, but it can quickly lead negotiations into a wall. Do your best to let your lawyer lead negotiations so that you can keep your emotions out of it and reach a resolution on each issue as quickly as possible. You may be able to try methods such as mediation or collaborative divorce in order to keep court costs down and preserve your marital assets as much as possible.
The Divorce Lawyers at Greater Orlando Family Law Can Help
If you are considering filing for divorce in Florida, the experienced Orlando family attorneys at Greater Orlando Family Law are ready to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the next step forward toward a different future.