Divorce, Feast or Famine?

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When you think of going through a divorce, do your thoughts take you to a situation that is to the extreme, either feast or famine? If you find yourself on the path of divorce, you have probably heard friends or acquaintances make comments like “Oh, my ex got everything!”, or “I lost everything, the house and all the furniture!”

When you hear comments like this, know that you are only hearing one person’s perspective. Perhaps in reality one party did get the house, but it is also likely that the other party received an investment account of equal value. You see, Florida is an equitable distribution state. In general, that means, that unless the judge would determine that there were any other reason, such as the presence of premarital assets to consider, it is likely that it will end up being a 50/50 split. We recommend you get legal advice from a qualified Family Law Attorney. We can give you financial advice regarding divorce but if it is a legal concern you have that needs to come from an attorney. In the event of premarital assets, they may be all set aside for the party that acquired them prior to the marriage. In the event of some assets, such as a pension plan, 401K or other investments that span prior to the marriage and continue into the marriage, those have be sorted out.

In that case, there are some calculations we do to present value the pension plans and determine what the premarital and marital value of the other accounts is. If you already have an attorney and are wondering if you have all your financial bases covered regarding distribution of assets, alimony and or child support, your personal net worth and cash flow and in general, are you going to be able to survive and thrive after the divorce is final, give us a call. That is what we specialize in. There is nothing like going to mediation with a financial plan in place to present to the other party. You have heard it before I am sure, you don’t plan to fail; you just fail to plan! Don’t find yourself in that situation. Put yourself in the driver’s seat on this one. Divorce is one of the most life changing events you will ever endure, both emotionally and financially. Once the decision is made to divorce, it now becomes a financial transaction. When you need specific help, go to the specialist.

The system is designed to be fair to each of you. That said, sometimes there is so much anger and resentment built up, that you have resorted to a legal fist fight, and you may both lose some of what you have worked hard for. There are ways to minimize your loses.

Most couples really want to work things out together, but often you either lack the ability to use interpersonal skills on your own heated situation, and or you lack the financial expertise regarding the specialty of divorce. I remember how I wished that I had someone to rely on that could tell me if the settlement my attorney was recommending was really in my best interest and if it would sustain me for years to come. How is someone supposed to know about the tax ramifications of dividing the house that increased in value or what to do regarding a pension or family owned business?

If you find yourself in the category that wants to be able to work things out together but need someone to do the refereeing and measuring of the settlement, let us know. We will be happy to sit down with both of you, and walk you through the process. First we will meet, to see if we are a good match for your situation. Assuming everything is right, we will mediate between you and your spouse until you are both comfortable with what you have agreed to and everything has been calculated and measured, thereby allowing you to understand your finances forward going up to the next 5 and 10 years.

If you are already duking it out, and you need further financial assistance for yourself to prepare for mediation or court, we would be happy to assist you and your attorney in getting you prepared.

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