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Often one or both spouses reach a point in the marriage where it just becomes simpler to walk away.

All too often this is done with too much emotion and too little thought to asset planning for your divorce.


Here is a thought before you go storming out of the marriage — stop for a few minutes and plan for your divorce!

One of the most often combative issues in a divorce is separating assets – who gets what? If you can provide a current and complete list of the assets and other financial information for you both, your attorney will have a huge leverage negotiating issues such as alimony, child support, and division of property in your settlement.

A partial asset list to think about would include:

  • primary and secondary homes
  • Any other properties including timeshares, rental properties, and land
  • Furniture
  • Electronics
  • Any vehicles such as cars, boats, motorcycles, and recreational vehicles
  • Art, jewelry, and anything else of tangible value

Include in your list all investments and liquid assets. Inventory bank accounts and cash, pension accounts, retirement savings and accounts, and employee benefits or stock options. Don’t forget your insurance policies: life, health, home, and vehicles – and add in any umbrella policies.

Little things that are often overlooked can add up. Do you have frequent flyer miles? How about vacation pay? Any safety deposit boxes? Valuables like coin, books, and antiques are all included.

Make sure to include in your list anything that was owned by you personally before the marriage.

Your next step is to pull all legal and tax documents into one place. Collect all wills, powers of attorney, estate planning, and any other legal documents you might have. Go back for five years worth of tax returns, including all payroll and pay documents. Of course, this would include any businesses owned by either of you as well. Business partnerships, accounting statements including P&L and Income Statements will all be needed. Yes – it can get complicated!

If that is not enough to keep you busy, then go ahead and identify your all liabilities and expenses. Your divorce lawyer is going to need this information to document your current standard of living and help you determine what it will be after your divorce. In order to properly represent your case before the court, you will need tons of detail about expenses including:

  • Monthly mortgage or lease payments and home maintenance expenses
  • Utilities
  • Insurance premiums for life, health, auto, home, and any other policies
  • Current or future tuition
  • Car payments, gas, car maintenance costs
  • Living expenses like food, clothes, memberships, vacations, dining out, and entertainment
  • Don’t forget attorney fees!

Asset planning for divorce is not simple – but it is crucial. You only get one chance at the divorce outcome and you want to get it right.


Property Division

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