After a long-term marriage, many people find themselves in the midst of a divorce. Their immediate concern is how will this divorce impact them financially — how will they financially start over again. Perhaps they are wondering how they will support themselves post-divorce, or how they will recoup their losses after the division of retirement accounts and other assets.
Clients come into the initial interview completely overwhelmed and expect to find all of the answers. When working with clients who are dissolving a long-term marriage, it is important to take it one step at a time, and work together to resolve their concerns.
Clients who have been in a long-term marriage may not have been the major breadwinner, or may have never worked, and now have a limited earning ability. Many times, there is one spouse who is predominant in handling the finances, leaving the other spouse “in the dark”.
In these cases, we must carefully review the assets of the parties. The first step is to put together a list of the assets, and their respective values. If a client is unaware of the assets, or their respective values, we can work together to obtain the missing information so that we have a snapshot of the assets and their respective values.
It is important in a long-term marriage to determine if spousal support is appropriate, and to calculate what the amount and duration may be. A review of retirement accounts and/or pensions must be made. Parties often overlook the smaller assets such as equity in vehicles, boats, campers, snowmobiles, and other recreational vehicles, as well as valuing any silver, gold, and other coin or stamp collections.
It is also suggested that parties counsel with an expert such as a financial advisor or accountant who can determine their financial objectives, earnings, and expenditures and help them to design an appropriate financial plan post-divorce.
After review of the assets, debts, and potential spousal support award, clients can better understand what their potential financial outcome will be post-divorce, allowing them to make decisions moving forward.
CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED DIVORCE ATTORNEY IN GRAND RAPIDS, MI
Divorce can be emotional and messy, and it’s natural for anyone going through a divorce to want to protect their financial interests. Maintaining an objective view of the situation can be difficult when you are struggling with complex emotional issues and personal tensions in your divorce. As an experienced Michigan divorce lawyer, Schmitt Law, PLLC can help you maintain control over your property in divorce, and provide detailed guidance and support throughout every step of the process. The right attorney can increase the likelihood of you securing a favorable outcome to property division in your divorce.