Assessing one’s finances may help reduce property division stress

The end of a marriage is never easy. Along with the emotional upheaval, there is the added stress of worrying how a divorce may harm one’s financial well-being. Florida residents who are contemplating filing for divorce may help facilitate the property division settlement by taking a thorough inventory of the marital assets.

There are four basic areas to consider when discussing marital finances. These categories are assets, debts, expenses and income. The first consists of all holdings that have monetary value. This includes all savings and checking accounts, retirement and money market accounts, stocks, trusts, real estate investment holdings, along with saving bonds or any other type of bonds. When it comes to dividing these assets, it is vital to understand the possible tax implications and any penalties that may be assessed by taking disbursements early.

A couple’s debts and liabilities include any mortgages and other debt, both secured and unsecured. If a home is to be sold, the couple must decide who will be responsible for upkeep and taxes until the sale is completed. If the house sells for a loss, then the remaining debt may have to be divided. If one retains the home, then this becomes part of a spouse’s expenses that may need to be addressed during settlement. Furthermore, both spousal support (if ordered) and child support may become part of one party’s expenses while the other may include these payments as income.

The tax laws concerning alimony will change in 2019, which will directly impact these payments. This issue may require further negotiation during settlement. Lastly, it may benefit either party to seek the advice of professional financial advisors in order to ascertain how to balance one’s living expenses with anticipated income levels. Florida residents who are concerned about how their divorce and property division will directly impact their future finances may ease their minds by relying on the guidance of an experienced attorney.

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