Divorce became legal in the United States in the 1970s. Since then it has become so easy to file for it when married couples no longer think their marriage can be saved. If you and your significant other (about to be ex-significant other) have amassed quite a fortune, there will be serious talk about splitting things. Find out how to split things right here.
- Hire a divorce lawyer. Get recommendations from people you trust. When you set a meeting with a prospective divorce lawyer, find out his batting average for winning settlements.
- Remember that what’s yours is yours. This applies to the properties you’ve acquired prior to the marriage so you are not legally obligated to offer this up to the negotiating table.
- Discuss your conjugal home and everything in it. You and your significant other along with the lawyers will have to talk about the house and its contents. Research the laws in your location when it comes to this and discuss options with your lawyers. If you’re still paying for the mortgage or if the real estate market is on the upswing, it’s a good idea to sell the house and split the cash. Now, if one half of this marital partnership earns more and would want to buy out the other’s share, this is also allowed in the court of law.
- Talk about your retirement fund. What you will be discussing here is the following: Pension; 401k; bonuses; shares of stocks; insurance; and company-offered profit sharing packages that both of you enjoyed as a married couple. Are you willing to take a lump sum when your divorce becomes final or would you rather wait to draw the funds upon your retirement? You’ll need the whole process explained to you by a tax attorney because money matters are quite complex to be figured out by a layman. You have to fully understand what you’re signing over so you won’t feel robbed in the end. One tip is that you’ll need a document called a QDRO to make this solid. The QDRO is a domestic arrangement that won’t be contestable after it’s signed.
- Discuss your vested interest in business investments. This aspect is especially hard when both your names are literally on the marquee or company masthead or wherever else so that it’s almost like a brand. To know for sure, the judge handling your divorce will look into your history as to who first started the business, how much contributed more into the business financially, and the effort each one took to get the business off the ground. For this specific aspect, there’s much ground to cover. You’ll need a business appraiser who can take a look into matters concerning reputation, popularity, the books (finances), assets, liabilities, and stakeholders.
- Talk about who gets the car and other vehicles. Anything that runs on land, air, and sea that you acquired and owned as a couple will also have to be split up. You and your lawyers need to find out the current value of these before these are divided or sold for cash.
Now that you have a basic idea of the material aspect that needs to be split up between you two, there’s one thing that must be untouchable and that is your children. If you two can’t really work it out then keep them out of the mess that they did not create. Your children are your best assets so share parental responsibilities when the divorce is finally granted.