The financial issues involved in a divorce can often be the most complicated and contentious aspects of the end of a marriage, for couples of all income levels. Outweighing the personal and emotional fallout of a split, the financial effects of divorce can linger on for years after the marriage has come to an end. When couples make the decision to split, taking steps to protect one's assets and prepare for the financial future are essential to planning for post-divorce life.
Understanding the true size of the marital property to be dealt with during asset division in the divorce can be critical to advocating for a fair settlement, especially in a complex or high-asset divorce. To this end, keeping thorough records of bank accounts, investment funds and valuables can be key in correctly valuing assets and determining the proper division. This is especially true for retirement accounts and pension plans, which can often be the largest single asset at stake in any divorce. Clear records of the various retirement accounts in the names of both partners can be critical financial documentation.
At the same time that properly documenting marital assets can be important for a divorce settlement, keeping track of marital debts can also be a major protective step. Many couples have joint credit accounts that can be used equally by both parties. As divorce approaches, it can be particularly necessary to close these accounts and assign them to one person and, most importantly, prevent them from being used to accrue additional debt.
Understanding the scope of marital property is critical to achieving a fair settlement in a high-asset divorce or a split involving couples of any financial background. A family law attorney may be able to provide strong representation and advocate for their client's interests in matters of asset valuation, property division, spousal support and other vital issues.