If you're considering filing for divorce, the most difficult part can be figuring out how to equitably and amicably dissolve your financial assets, debts, and possessions. Here's how a divorce lawyer can help you sort out the financial side of your big split.
Figuring Out Your Liquidity
The total assets you accumulated during your marriage can be tricky to figure out. Essentially, you need to figure out what everything would be worth if it was put up for sale.
- Assessor: many divorce lawyers encourage clients to hire an assessor to help evaluate the total value of their collective assets. For things like homes, businesses, and land, an assessor can consult with real estate experts to get the fair market value of assets. When totaling the value of possessions, heirlooms, and cars, an assessor can aggregate the value of each item. Your divorce lawyer can also negotiation splitting the fee with your ex-partner to help guarantee neutrality and objectivity.
Divvying Up Your Debts
In addition to dividing up your assets, you will also need to split your debts. Similar to the assets you accumulated during your marriage, you'll also need to divide up your debts.
- Accountant: in the same way that an assessor can help you total your assets, a forensic accountant can help you figure out your total collective debt. These debts can be fairly obvious — credit card balances, student loans, car payments, etc. — but they can also be more nuanced. For instance, if you owe taxes on income earned by a business, you might not be able to split the tax burden evenly. In these cases, a divorce lawyer can argue that the tax burden is a component of a business's future value, which is a debt that will extend past the divorce. A forensic accountant can provide the financial expertise your divorce lawyer will need to build a defensible case if the issue is litigated in court.
Trading What Can't Be Sold
There are some things that just can't be divided in half and/or that you won't be willing to sell. Your divorce lawyer can help you trade these possessions and find compromises when disputes arise.
- Mediation: divorces can break down on the smallest details. For instance, who gets to keep a treasured family photo? Your divorce lawyer can provide a mediator to help you talk through these sticking points. Adopting a give-and-take approach to possessions that are impossible to divide can save both parties time and money.
Talk to a divorce lawyer for more guidance.Share