Financial Q&A

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Freya’s Financial Facts Regarding Divorce

West Coast Woman

Published December 2006

Question’s & Answers

Question: I received an inheritance and was told by my investment advisor that I must put that money into a joint account with my spouse. We are now considering a divorce. What will happen to that money?

Answer: If you receive an inheritance you do not need to put it in your spouse’s name. You were given incorrect information. Unfortunately many well meaning investment advisors are not trained in issues of divorce. If you keep the money in your own name then the money that was inherited would not be considered a marital asset. If you co-mingle the funds, meaning that you open an account and include your spouse on that new account, then the money is considered marital property and would be subject to equitable division in a divorce.

Question: All my friends are telling me that it is difficult to get alimony in the state of Florida. Is that true?

Answer: First of all I would caution you about accepting advice given by friends. Often times that advice is based on hearsay. It is always best to get the facts from the professionals that can guide you. Each state has its own statutes or rules that determine factors such as Alimony/Spousal Support. There are several determining factors regarding alimony in Florida, so you need to get advice from a qualified Marital Law Attorney. Our experience from working with attorney’s has been that in general the courts look at the length of the marriage, the financial need of the spouse requesting the Spousal Support and the ability to pay by the party being asked to pay the Spousal Support. Keep in mind there are other factors that could play a part in your particular situation so don’t hesitate to get an informed legal opinion.

Question: My husband told me last night that he wants a divorce. Since I have young children and am staying home with them will I be able to keep our house?

Answer: There is no hard and fast rule regarding your house. For those mothers of children who have faced divorce, the process you are about to go through can be emotionally difficult. It shouldn’t be financially devastating if you have the right people on your team. It is important to complete a thorough analysis of your financial situation so you can make decisions regarding your future. You need emotional support also. A good therapist if you don’t already have one is in order for you. This is not a time to “go it alone”. Friends are great, but you will find that you will wear out your welcome all too fast if you ask them to bear this burden with you entirely.

Let’s get back to the issue of your home. By looking at the current value of your home and comparing what you owe on that home, we can begin to determine how much each party would receive in the event of a sale of the house or a buyout by one of the parties. But the decision doesn’t end there. There are several other financial factors to be considered. You need to consider if one party will be in a better financial situation after the divorce to keep and maintain the home. It can be difficult if there is not enough income to sustain the lifestyle that you had prior to the divorce. If there is enough income either from your own job and or from Spousal Support to provide for all of your financial needs after the divorce then keeping the house is a viable option. That is why it is important to plan in advance and measure what your future will look like financially so you can make the right decisions.

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