There is no denying the emotions of a divorce. You may be feeling hurt, confused, angry and betrayed even if the breakup was a long time coming. Perhaps you find yourself spending a lot of time dwelling on the past, especially the beginning of your relationship when everything seemed right. While it is perfectly natural to think about the past, it is also crucial to consider your future.
A divorce can be financially devastating. It may deplete your savings, strip your retirement and decimate your business. Without careful planning and solid advice, you may require years to recover from the blow of dividing your assets and starting over.
Getting your act together
When you first begin to feel the rumblings of divorce, marriage advisors recommend taking a thorough inventory of your situation. To avoid being short-changed when the court divides your assets, you will need to know exactly what you have and what you owe. By gathering information for the following items, you will have a better idea of where you stand:
- Real estate holdings
- Debts and expenses
- Credit report
- Bank accounts
- Retirement funds
- Valuation of assets, including your business
Knowing the base value of an asset is only the beginning. The way Georgia and the federal government tax those assets may alter their worth. For example, some items may immediately incur a tax, and others may be tax-free until sometime in the future.
Additionally, if you have relinquished responsibility for the family budget to your spouse, advisors recommend learning as much as possible about these transactions to ensure your future financial health. You may need to get passwords for online accounts, identify the due dates for monthly bills and figure out how to create and manage a personal spending plan.
Finding the best representation for your divorce
One essential consideration to make is who will represent you during the divorce. If you and your spouse decide to try mediation, an attorney with negotiation skills and experience in conflict resolution will be essential. In the event that negotiations break down or you expect a contentious divorce, you will certainly want an advocate who will aggressively protect your interests.
Facing financial uncertainty following a divorce means you will likely struggle to get back on your feet and move forward. With the right attorney at your side, you improve your chances of protecting your separate assets, including your business, and receiving a fair settlement.