Monday, October 6, 2014

WSJ - "How to Plan for a Divorce"

Here is another article I found that has decent information about preparing for divorce:

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at
Many times I find clients don't know enough about their financial affairs. This article lists financial affairs as its first point. The article states:

"1. Know What You Own and Make Copies.
Gather as much information as possible, as early as possible, regarding your family's finances..."
This is one of the most important things you can do as you prepare to initiate a divorce. As they say, information is power. Knowing what you own and being able to prove it can short-circuit some litigation.

I'm not sure I agree with every point. The fourth point may not do much for party:

"4. Watch the Timing.
Mr. Gambaccini suggests looking to file your divorce in a year when you're earning less money—for example, when you get no bonus or there is a big decline in the value of your investments. While a court will typically look at income over many years, having a recent decrease in earnings may lower future payments, such as alimony, he says."
In fact, depending on why a person is earning less money, this can backfire. Courts in Pennsylvania look for those people trying to spite their spouse by taking a downgrade on their jobs. If the court believes a party intentionally cut his or her salary, the court may impute the hirer income to the party. Timing is important and people need to consider their financial positions when filing. But I'm not sure how much mileage you will get in this area. 
The article list 4 other points to consider. They are all worth discussing with an attorney as you plan your divorce. You can use this as a guide for discussion during your initial meeting.

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