A divorce can be tumultuous. When the dust clears many are shocked to find that their spouses are living well while they themselves are struggling financially. To avoid this, it is important to understand the laws related to divorce in Virginia and to know how to avoid the most common mistakes that cause hardships after a breakup.
Getting it all on the table
In equitable distribution states, the courts divide marital assets fairly, not necessarily equally. Problems arise when one spouse is unaware of the extent of the marital wealth. One step for spouses to take when divorce is imminent is determining the total amount and location of their assets, including:
- Retirement plans
- Savings accounts
- 529 college savings funds
- Offshore accounts
Unfortunately, the more money a couple has, the easier it is to hide assets. Therefore, it makes good sense to have professionals evaluate the total wealth on the table for asset division.
Establish a team
A spouse who will be searching for potential hidden assets will likely benefit from the skills of an experienced attorney. Legal professionals will know how to track down assets and often also work with forensic accountants to examine trusts and other accounts. These professionals can reconstruct a couple’s income and develop a reasonable post-divorce financial picture. They can also assist one with completing the appropriate paperwork, such as qualified domestic relations orders.
Spouses going through divorce might not understand the financial road ahead. Factors like child support, the costs of maintaining the home, life insurance to protect support payments and taxes on certain assets can seem complex and overwhelming. This is another good reason to have reliable professionals on one’s team.