One of the most combative areas in divorce negotiations concerns a couple’s assets. This can be especially true in complex litigation divorce cases where the financial stakes can be high. These stakes can be so high that spouses often resort to hiding assets and/or lying about their actual worth, despite the penalties they face if their deception to the court is exposed.
In many cases, a husband or wife begins the process of hiding assets long before they actually inform their spouse they want a divorce. If you suspect your spouse is considering a divorce, there are steps you can take to help protect your right to your share of the marital estate.
The first thing you should do is to make copies of any financial statements and documents relating to any financial accounts you and your spouse own, including savings, retirement accounts, and stock portfolios. You should also make copies of all checking account and credit card statements, as well as tax returns. These documents will help provide an accurate picture of your marriage lifestyle. If you are concerned that your spouse will attempt to sell any real estate you own, a restraining from the court forbidding such a sale may be necessary.
Once the divorce has been filed, and the negotiations commenced, there are key points to remember. Many couples overlook what the tax implications will be as they divvy up their marital estate. For example, one spouse gets a piece of property that is worth $500,000, and the other spouse gets a $500,000 savings account. There may be a significant difference in what the tax liabilities will be in the future for each spouse.
It is also important to examine what the long-term inflation impact will be on any settlement with your spouse, especially when it comes to negotiating retirement accounts and college education responsibilities for any children of the marriage. Another point to consider is Social Security benefits. If a couple has been married for ten years or longer and divorces, the wife is still eligible for the husband’s Social Security benefits (there are certain criteria she must meet). Statistics show that many couples divorce during the ninth year of marriage. Waiting one more year can benefit the wife’s retirement options, without affecting the husband’s benefit at all.
There are many other issues that couples need to address during a high-asset or complex divorce. If you are considering divorce or think your spouse is planning on filing, contact an experienced Kane County, IL high-asset divorce attorney immediately to ensure that your share of the marital estate is protected. Call (630) 377-7770 to reach the skilled lawyers at Bochte, Kuzniar & Navigato, P.C..