Martial assets, including your investments, are subject to asset division during a divorce. Some divorces can take months – or even years – to settle. So it’s essential to make sure property division like managing a portfolio during divorce is carefully done.
You will want to have a written agreement detailing how to handle your accounts and investments until the divorce settles. Putting everything in writing is for your protection. Have a divorce attorney draft this agreement and file it with the Clerk. If you and your spouse can come up with an agreement and your finances are relatively simple, then your attorney only needs to draw up the agreement and file it for it to be legally binding.
If you and your spouse cannot reach terms or if your portfolio is complex or of a high net worth, a judge may need to decide on the particulars of your case. You will want to hire a legal/financial advisor to assist you.
Getting Your Finances in Order
At the onset, divorce can be shocking, painful, and completely accost your sense of well-being. While you may be overwhelmed with emotional and practical issues, it’s still of prime importance to protect your assets. The sooner you do this, the better.
Carole Peck, a certified divorce financial analyst, provides a five-point financial checklist that couples who are contemplating a divorce should review. In brief, they include the following.
- Check your credit report. A full review of your credit report will give you a rundown of your credit score, and the accounts and debts in your name. You may spot accounts you weren’t aware of or lines of credit you didn't know existed.
- Make a list of your assets. You need to see where you stand, what you stand to lose in the divorce, and assets that may be bargaining tools during mediation. If you or your spouse own a business, you’ll want to collect the tax records to determine its profitability/liability.
- Have your assets appraised? High ticket items, such as your home, jewelry, art collections, etc. should be evaluated by a professional to determine their real value. This way, your spouse cannot pull the wool over your eyes by saying, for example, by saying that his gun collection is useless when it’s worth thousands. An appraisal will give your financial situation transparency. You will have a better picture of what items you think are worth it.
- Estimate your post-divorce expenses. Create a practical budget for life after divorce, taking your new income and accommodations into consideration. Document your expenses and revenue because the info can be useful when determining child support and alimony.
- Analyze the cost of child care or visitation. Estimate your expenses for babysitters, daycare, and transportation costs for visits if the other parent lives a significant distance away. These figures are necessary budgetary items to mention during your settlement negotiations.
Hiring a Professional to Help Manage Your Portfolio
You will want to enlist the assistance of a divorce attorney, and perhaps financial analysts for help managing your portfolio. You can start by calling our Bellevue law office at 425-460-0550 for a free consultation.