If you are sure your marriage is over, there are several important crucial pieces of information that you must remember in order to protect your financial and personal rights during this very stressful time. Regardless of how congenial both of you seem tomorrow, there is no guarantee that those feelings will continue through the years.
Determining What Is (And Is Not) Community Property
It is often surprising to discover that even if you live in a community property state, it is possible that not everything that was acquired during the marriage must be shared equally by both parties. This is true even when no prenuptial agreement was in place. Specifically, you may note that if either party inherited or was gifted a substantial sum of money or property during the marriage, they may not have to share those items.
In addition, there has also been debate over whether a family property, gifted to the couple while they were married or even as a wedding gift, should be considered community property. Obviously, there are many who benefit or lose out as a result of those laws and how they are applied in each state. Of course, property and belongings that belonged to you or your spouse before marriage, should generally remain the same throughout the marriage and its dissolution.
Your attorney may also advise you if you live in a state that offers the higher wage-earner a larger portion of the assets after a divorce. Whether you want to protect your assets or you want to be sure that you get your fair share of the marital assets, it is essential to speak with a divorce attorney as soon as possible.
Planning For Your Taxes, During the Separation And the Year You Divorce
If you think that the divorce decree will be sufficient to solve your tax quandary after the divorce, you could be setting yourself up for a big disappointment or an audit. The division of assets, any forgiven debt, which person gets to declare the children, medical expenses, etc. can impact the way you both file for taxes. Filing incorrectly could be an expensive mistake. Your attorney may recommend that you speak with a tax professional before filing taxes, but he or she can lay the groundwork for equitable arrangements in the divorce application.
The solution is simply to speak with your attorney, and ask to have everything clearly lead out in the divorce decree. Even small details can be annoying next year or problematic when the kids go to college. Therefore, it is best to address all of your concerns and determine who is responsible for which debt from the very beginning.
In conclusion, a divorce does not have to be ruinous. If both parties agree, or can come to an agreement with the help of their lawyers, it is possible to look at the divorce as a learning experience from which you can both grow and learn.