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Resolving disputes creatively

Guarding personal finances in a divorce

Most New Yorkers understand that a divorce can be expensive. One spouse may have to pay the other a substantial sum to divide assets. And, child support and alimony can be heavy burdens on post-divorce income. Plus, the proceeding itself may entail significant professional and court fees. The points set out below can become even more important in a high asset divorce.

Every state has unique divorce laws and well-meaning advice can be disastrously wrong. A person embarking on a divorce should rely only on professionals who are hired to provide case-specific advice.

The maintenance of complete and accurate financial records cannot begin too soon. This information is useful in deciding questions of child support and alimony.

Similarly, all financial documents should be gathered and organized. Some of these documents may be crucial in valuing and dividing assets, such as pension plans and 401(k)s. In addition, accurate lists of monthly income and expenses can have a significant effect on the court's award of child support and spousal maintenance.

Major financial decisions should be put aside until the divorce is complete. Some decisions, such as transferring ownership of real property or changing insurance beneficiaries, can even provide grounds for a contempt of court citation, if done without the court's approval. Likewise, all spending decisions should be conservative. Many experts recommend keeping all financial dealings transparent between estranged spouses.

Persons involved in a high asset divorce will undoubtedly need the advice of professionals who are experienced in handling such cases. The knowledgeable guidance an experienced attorney and perhaps an accountant or a business appraiser can help preserve assets and limit any adverse impact of the divorce on those assets.

Source: Nerdwallet, "7 Ways to Ready Your Finances for Divorce," Elizabeth Renter, May 30, 2017, accessed on June 12, 2017

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