During your divorce every nook and cranny of your financial picture will be evaluated. Together we will take a look at the finances you brought into your marriage and then what you and your spouse accumulated together. It is very important that you have a full understanding of your financial picture and copies of all financial documents.
What did you bring into the marriage?
Before you got married you may have had assets including investments, property and savings account. If you kept them solely in your name and they did not increase due to the influence of your spouse, they are yours to keep. If you commingled these assets with your spouse, meaning you added his/her name as an owner, then they are considered a contribution to the marriage and the court will determine how to allocate them. Some counties will apply their own methodology for determining what portion you will get credit back for this contribution based on the date it was contributed and time that has passed. The increase in value of a separate asset is always marital. Usually we look at each asset on a case by case basis. It is important that you provide your attorney with the details of any contributions you made either from before the marriage or through an inheritance and it is also important to have a paper trail of these transactions.
What assets did you build together?
The assets of a marriage are simple to state but can be difficult to calculate. For instance, if you had a 401k before your marriage but continued to then add to it during your marriage, your spouse is entitled to share in the accumulation since the date of your wedding. If you and your spouse purchased a home together the current equity is up for consideration.
Make copies of your statements
A very important part of your financial situation is knowing your current financial situation. When you decide to divorce (or find out you are getting divorced) start to immediately make copies of financial statements. Do not let your spouse try to hide money or claim
Just as every couple is different so is every divorce. You have the ability to negotiate each part of your divorce to ensure you are getting your share of the assets. Additionally, based on other factors such as income and potential income we can always negotiate in other ways as well – trade-offs are common. An experienced divorce attorney will be able to explain your options and negotiate creative solutions for you.