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Marietta Family Law Blog

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.

Debt doesn't divide easily in a divorce

You are facing divorce. It may have come as a shock or a long time in the making, but you have a lot to consider as you prepare for the process. If you and your spouse have been married a long time, you may find splitting up more difficult than those with shorter marriages. In fact, the longer you are married, the more entwined aspects of your life become, primarily the financial aspects.

Regardless of which one of you was the one to file for divorce, the fact remains that you have a lot of work ahead of you. You are probably focusing on the division of custody above all, and certainly, you want to ensure you receive your fair share of the marital assets. However, there is one part of property division many divorcing couples overlook.

Are you entitled to stock-related assets during divorce?

Because divorce requires the examinations of many areas of your life and your spouse's life, the process can take time if you hope to ensure that you have not overlooked important details. Though the idea of finishing the process quickly may seem more appealing, the possibility exists that you could end up with outcomes that seem less than satisfactory if you make hasty decisions. When you must deal with complex assets, the chance for potential mistakes could increase.

If you suspect that your spouse may have obtained certain benefits from his or her company that allow for stock-related income, you may not entirely understand how those benefits could play into your property division proceedings. However, you may want to find out more on stock options and restricted stock as you could potentially have reason to gain a portion of those benefits during asset division.

Grandparenting isn't always grand, especially during a divorce

You love your children. You also love your grandchildren, and no matter what may currently be transpiring between your son or daughter and his or her soon-to-be former spouse, you likely want what is best for everyone. Most Georgia grandparents understand that there is little or nothing they can do regarding adult children's decisions to divorce; after all, you raised your child to be independent and make his or her own choices.

If you are in this situation, you probably asked yourself the following question: How can you help your adult child, as well as your grandchildren move toward a new, happy lifestyle?

You may be relieved to know about this tax option

No two divorces are the same. Every Georgia couple's experience is unique in some say, and many face complicated extenuating circumstances, such as those involving taxes. If you're currently navigating a high-asset divorce and are concerned about certain erroneous acts you believe your spouse committed on a jointly filed tax form, there are several options and support networks available to help people facing such circumstances rectify their situations.

The federal government provides protection to spouses facing financial accountability problems for tax debts when their counterparts failed to claim income or otherwise filed erroneous information on jointly filed tax forms.

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William C. Gentry, Attorney at Law

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