Many things in life are easier if you are wealthy. However, divorce is not one of them. Couples of means who decide to call it quits on their marriages face a completely different set of challenges than those divorcing couples who are living paycheck to paycheck.
If you want to walk away from your marriage with as rosy a financial future as possible, take the time to learn how to preserve the value of your marital assets.
Don’t skimp on professional advice
There’s a lot to be said for frugality, but when it comes to valuating complex assets, this is not the time to pinch pennies. If your marital property is north of six figures, you need to get an accurate assessment of the worth of all of your assets.
Your Kentucky family law attorney can likely recommend a reputable, independent valuation expert, but don’t be afraid to do your own homework. Ask your certified public accountant (CPA) to give you a few names. Then, you and your soon-to-be ex can choose one.
It’s especially important to get an accurate valuation on hard to assess items like wine collections, fine jewelry, antique cars and artworks. Not knowing the true value of something means that it is highly likely that you can walk away and leave money on the table.
Financial matters must also be handled carefully
If your combined marital interests include equity in businesses and pre-IPO stocks, special attention will need to be paid to ownership transfers and any contingencies associated with sales. Complex portfolios can yield significant benefits, but only if you’re aware of their true worth.
Peruse your policies
It’s a mistake to consider life insurance policies in the same league as auto insurance or homeowner’s policies. Think of life insurance as what it actually is — another marital asset subject to division during divorce.
Much of the accessible value of life insurance policies are dependent upon the way they are structured. For example, a policy that is part of an estate-planning trust will be handled differently than a straightforward policy naming one’s spouse as beneficiary.
Don’t downgrade your lifestyle in divorce
If you and your spouse enjoyed a certain lifestyle during the marriage, and your spouse is the major wage-earner, you could have valid concerns that your own post-divorce lifestyle will suffer.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be that way, and a professional lifestyle analysis can be done to assure that the quality of your life doesn’t deteriorate needlessly.
Divorce is never enjoyable, but with the proper advice and support in place, it is survivable. Taking the time now to get all of your ducks in line can pave the way to a thriving new life.