Why You Shouldn’t Handle Your Own Divorce Negotiations When You Have Multiple Assets

By November 30, 2017 Articles

Protecting assets is one of the primary goals for divorcing couples. There’s a wide range of personal and business-related properties that can be subject to equitable distribution.

Although assets that existed prior to the marriage will remain in your possession, those that were acquired during the marriage may be valuated and divided according to the court’s decision.

Trying to handle your own divorce negotiations can lead to common mistakes and significant losses. This is especially important for couples that have multiple assets to consider.

The following will help you understand how to protect your assets in your divorce so that you can make the best decisions for your needs.

Common Negotiation Mistakes in Divorce

In many cases, emotional attachments to marital assets make the divorce process more difficult. Individuals may struggle to give up their residence, collectibles, automobiles, and other items.

But emotional reactions get in the way of your ability to make the right decisions for the long term. Some individuals may choose to keep a home without realizing that they may not be able to afford it on their own once the divorce has been finalized.

Retirement accounts, insurance policies, and other factors need to be updated in response to the decisions made by the courts. Spouses must consider making any necessary changes to the beneficiaries named in these policies after a divorce.

Family law attorneys help clients make these changes at the right times to avoid any potential problems that could impact how assets are distributed in the future.

Divorce settlements can be insured in order to provide long-term protection for spouses who are granted alimony and other forms of support.

Making sure that your spouse’s life insurance policies cover your alimony or child support should your spouse pass away or be disabled is critical to you and your family’s wellbeing.

Financial Considerations in Divorce

Assets can be sources of additional expenses. For example, a home may require you to continue paying the mortgage, taxes, and ongoing maintenance or repairs.

Negotiating your marital assets without the help of a legal professional may cause you to overlook the additional costs of keeping certain assets after a divorce.

You must consider joint tax filings that require both parties to pay their share. Your attorney may be able to reduce the amount of taxes you need to pay depending on the factors related to your divorce case.

More importantly, you and your spouse may work together through your attorneys to reduce how much taxes must be paid. You may also need to estimate your current expenses when filing a case for spousal support.

The right legal and financial professionals can help you create a budget that demonstrates your need to maintain certain assets and receive any support that you deserve.

You may also need to pay taxes on those assets that are granted to you in a divorce. Stock assets and other investments must be valuated in order to determine how much should be distributed to each spouse.

This can be a lengthy and complex process for spouses who choose to handle their own divorce negotiations.

Getting the Right Settlement and Asset Protection

Settlement proposals may or may not meet your needs. Handling the divorce negotiations on your own can cause you to accept an unfair settlement.

A family law attorney helps you evaluate any proposals that are offered to you and the ways in which they can impact your financial future. Future costs related to medical expenses, retirement, inflation, and childcare will factor into the fairness of any settlement proposal.

The first step to negotiating your multiple assets in a divorce is to consult with a skilled family law attorney. Together, you can determine the best legal options to protect your rights, assets, and financial future.

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Protecting Your Lifestyle During and After Divorce

By November 9, 2017 Articles

The loss of financial resources impacts your personal and professional life. In some cases, a spouse may take steps to negatively impact the financial well being of their partner.

Spouses who aren’t working or earning significantly are the most vulnerable in contested divorce cases.

These cases should seek to resolve disputes amicably while avoiding costly and lengthy proceedings if possible.

Spousal support or alimony is often an issue that spouses don’t agree on. In many marriages, one spouse may be financially dependent on the other.

Working with anattorney protects your financial well being, lifestyle, and future. You’ll understand your rights under the law and be presented with the best options for your needs.

Protecting Your Lifestyle With a Legal Professional

Spouses may try to minimize the amount of spousal support that’s granted to the other party. You’ll have to demonstrate your financial needs and history of your spending in order to receive the support you deserve.

Gathering and presenting evidence is critical to achieving a positive outcome in your divorce case.

Working with an experienced attorney is the first step in understanding your rights and determining the best options for your legal needs.

There are many factors that determine the amount of spousal support you receive. These include your spouse’s current income, your ability to earn future income, and the standard of living established during the marriage.

Contributions from each spouse and the needs of each spouse and the children will also impact the court’s decision.

You will need a detailed analysis of your daily expenses and the spending history during the marriage.  Your attorney will use bank statements, credit card statements, statements from investment funds, tax filings, and other financial documents to determine your standard of living and help you establish proof of your needs for alimony.

Providing this information can be a complex and lengthy process. Your attorney will help you gather the information needed to secure the spousal support that allows you to maintain your lifestyle.

The more information you provide, the more likely you are to have the courts decide in your favor.

Inaccurate or missing financial records can hurt you in the end. So ensuring that you submit complete information according to the needs of the court is essential to the success of your divorce proceedings.

Want to know more about alimony and protecting your lifestyle?  Please contact the BKBM Family Law Group and ask for Charles Medlin, Erin Stone or Marilyn Kapaun at (770) 391-9100.

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Business Valuation and Your Divorce Settlement

By October 26, 2017 Articles

Divorce cases involve the division of a wide range of assets. These include real estate property, stock assets, automobiles, and other items of significant value.

For cases in which one or both spouses have a business interest, the valuation of that business and its division may be required. But this can be a complex, lengthy, and costly process.

Your company may be the primary asset involved in your divorce settlement. Having the right information required to complete its valuation and the legal resources to negotiate a fair divorce settlement will protect your long-term financial wellbeing.

Business Ownership in Marriage

Many married couples create businesses during their marriage.This can be a shared business or one created by one of the spouses. It can include a professional practice, L.L.C., corporation, or partnership.

If the business was created or experienced increases in its value during the marriage, it will most likely be considered a marital asset. This means that some or all of the value couldbe subject to division by the courts.

Working with an experienced family law attorney who understands business valuation is the first step in protecting your financial interests. Your attorney can secure a valuation expert to determine its true value.

In Georgia, the courts determine what assets are considered “marital” and which ones are “separate” depending on a wide range of factors. All marital assets will be divided through the equitable distribution process.

How Courts Classify Business Assets

Your business will be classified as marital property if it was acquired during the marriage regardless of how it is titled.

If instead, your business was under the ownership of one party prior to the marriage, the business will be deemed separate property and won’t be subject to equitable distribution.

The dates of the marriage and the acquisition of the business are identified to determine how they’ll be classified. Also, the source of the financial resources used to acquire the business will be needed during this process.

There are issues that arise when valuing a business. A spouse may be entitled to retain his or her share. But there may be a significant number of items that must be accounted for in order to determine an accurate value for that share.

Some spouses and their attorneys may try to understate or exaggerate the value of a business interest in order to satisfy their own best interests. The challenges of valuing a business only increase with larger assets.

Protecting Your Business During the Valuation Process

Your family law attorney can guide you through the valuation and distribution of business assets in a divorce.

The legal resources you’ll need will depend on the circumstances related to your case as well as the method used in the valuation process.

Subtracting your liabilities from your assets is the first method that can be used to determine the value of your business.

It may also be valued by comparing it to businesses that are similar and their market value. But in some cases, it may be difficult to find other businesses that are similar enough to produce an accurate valuation.

The most common method used involves the evaluation of revenue history and projected cash flow to determine how much a business interest is worth.

Your attorney can help you understand how each valuation strategy can impact your assets and help you choose the right expert to value your business. Cases that involve the valuation of a business can add to the total cost of your divorce case due to the additional costs of hiring an expert and gathering financial records.

Gathering and presenting financial records can take time, and businesses are legally entitled to deny access to financial records. This can require additional legal actions making your case even more complex.

Determining an accurate value for your business affects your divorce settlement. By protecting your rights and assets under Georgia state law, you protect your existing and future business interests.

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