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Marietta Family Law Blog

Do I get half of my ex-spouse's inheritance?

As you and your spouse work through the issues related to your divorce, you may be getting hung up on many aspects of asset division. This may be especially true if you have considerable wealth or complex assets. Numerous real estate properties, complicated investments or priceless art are only a few assets that can slow down your divorce while you go through valuation and negotiation. However, what about your spouse's inheritance?

If your spouse came into money or property, you certainly want your fair share as part of the divorce settlement. Before you can claim a dime of it, it is important to examine when your spouse acquired the inheritance and what he or she did with it.

Preparation can make a high-asset divorce smoother

Regardless of how amicable two parties may be, there is no such thing as an easy divorce. The process is challenging and legally complex even when two Georgia parties are willing to work together and have productive negotiations about the details of their final divorce order. Preparation can lessen the difficulty of this process, particularly for high asset divorces.

A high asset divorce involves the division of valuable marital property, including everything from valuable assets to bank accounts. Negotiations are high stakes, and there is a lot on the line. If you are facing the prospect of a high asset divorce yet want to do everything possible to make this process easier, it can be helpful to learn how you can prepare for what lies ahead and learn how to pursue a strong post-divorce future.

Working toward financial security after your divorce

Despite the emotional upheaval, there may be things you are looking forward to when your divorce process is over. Maybe you plan to change your name, take a trip or finish your degree. Perhaps you have already set aside some time to thoroughly examine your finances and create a plan for your future.

Unfortunately, waiting until your divorce is finalized to begin thinking about your financial situation may set you up for years of struggle. There are many things you can do now, and financial advisors recommend completing some of them as soon as possible to avoid negative consequences.

As the lesser-earning spouse, you could have a claim to alimony

If you earned less than your spouse over the duration of your marriage or you did not work for a large portion of your marriage, the prospect of divorce could be frightening. As the lesser-earning spouse, you may have serious concerns about your financial stability after the process is finalized.

Georgia readers may know that while the end of a marriage will bring certain financial changes to your life, it is possible that you could have a rightful claim to alimony. You could receive alimony, also called spousal support, through either a court order or a financial agreement reached as part of the final divorce order. You may find it beneficial to seek an understanding of your options and how you can protect your financial interests in a divorce.

Dissipation of assets may damage your post-divorce future

Your spouse filing for divorce may have been unexpected or a long time coming, but the reality of it is certainly upsetting. When the shock and confusion began to abate, you may have begun to feel fearful. What will your future be like? How will you get along financially? These questions may be especially pertinent if you sacrificed your own career to raise children and keep house while your spouse's career flourished.

One immediate concern may be ensuring that you receive your fair share of the marital assets. In Georgia, as in many states, divorce is guided by equitable distribution laws, meaning that, with a few exceptions, all the assets acquired during your marriage are on the table for division unless stipulated in a prenuptial agreement. However, what if your spouse tries to keep those assets from you?

Getting through a high-asset divorce with your interests intact

As you prepare to walk through the process of divorce, you likely have serious concerns regarding your financial future. This is a normal concern for every Georgia reader who is considering this step, but it is especially true when it is a high-asset divorce. High-asset divorces are often high-stress and high-conflict divorces, yet it is still possible for you to effectively protect your interests.

One of the ways you can lay the groundwork for a strong post-divorce future is to prepare yourself for the process that lies ahead and take the appropriate steps to make sure you are ready. When there are valuable assets at stake, you have no time to lose in taking proactive measures for your own benefit.

Preserving your financial interests in divorce through mediation

If you are facing a divorce, you likely have serious concerns over your financial stability in the future. Money and division of marital assets are some of the most contentious and sensitive issues in a Georgia divorce, especially when there are valuable assets or a significant amount of money at stake.

A high-asset divorce can be particularly complicated and difficult, and many couples find that they must resort to costly litigation simply to get to a final order. However, this is not the only option available. It may be possible to avoid litigation altogether and pursue a fair outcome to your property division settlement through mediation. This form of dispute resolution can help you maintain more control over the terms of the final order, all while saving both time and money.

Getting ready now for your New Year divorce

With the holidays so close at hand, you may be like many couples who are waiting for the New Year before filing for divorce. You may not want to dampen the festive spirits of your children and other family members, so you are holding off with a view to starting 2018 with a life-changing resolution and a fresh start. You may be satisfied with your decision to postpone the divorce process for another couple of months so you can focus on holiday decorating, baking, shopping and entertaining.

However, there are some things you can be doing to prepare for the inevitable tussle over marital assets, particularly if those assets are substantial or complex. With a little foresight, you can improve your chances of making a clean financial break and building financial security post-divorce.

Earning value approaches for valuing your business during divorce

As a business owner, you certainly know that the value of your company can play an important role in various areas of your business enterprises. As a spouse, you likely also know that the value of your business could play a part in your marital finances and have an impact on settlement outcomes in the event of divorce. When it comes to determining the value of your business, especially in relation to divorce settlements, you certainly want to choose the valuation method that best suits your needs.

Many valuation methods exist, and though you may consider yourself a business-savvy person, you may not have the necessary knowledge or tools to come to an accurate valuation estimate on your own. Often, professional valuators come in to determine business values, and having an accurate estimate may be important during your divorce.

Finding firm financial ground in a divorce settlement

Financial advisors have seen their share of divorces gone wrong. What begins as an amicable breakup declines into conflict and dirty tactics when the couple has to deal with the finances. If you and your spouse expect to end your marriage soon, you may believe everything will go smoothly, but the process may not be that easy. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure you will not end up on the losing side of a settlement agreement.

It is easy to become emotional when your marriage ends, and some may allow those emotions to rule their decisions. Knowing the long-term impact of your divorce settlement may prompt you to be proactive about securing your fair share of marital assets and protecting yourself from property division that could leave you in the red.

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William C. Gentry, Attorney at Law

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