The decision to divorce is one of the most difficult people may ever face. There is nothing particularly easy about the divorce process after that, either. Divorce can be challenging on a number of levels – emotionally, physically, mentally, and financially. An experienced Florida divorce attorney can help you save time, energy, and money by being prepared and anticipating some of the challenges you might face. One particularly challenging part of divorce in which an attorney plays an important role is your final settlement, and there are some important considerations to keep in mind before finalizing a divorce. This post will explore some of those concerns.
Real Estate Division
One of the largest assets that must be considered when it comes to divorce is real property. Whether a couple owns a home or a primary residence and other properties, these high value assets can be extremely complex when it comes to property division.
Most couples will likely only have one major real estate asset. If the home is to be split down the middle and one spouse cannot afford to buy out the other’s interest or come to some other equitable agreement, then the home will likely need to be sold and the profit divided. If the spouses do not need to rush through the process because of financial necessity, some arrangements see one spouse remain in the home until such time as it can be sold. Whatever the arrangement regarding splitting a house with your spouse, it is crucial to make sure arrangements are in place for that process before agreeing to finalize the divorce. Finding a real estate lawyer during a divorce may seem like an extra cost, but it can end up saving you time and money down the line.
There are also important tax considerations to consider when dividing real estate assets. You may need to consider things like depreciation or certain tax credits when it comes to dividing real estate. Some real estate may also be subject to a capital gains tax and you will want your agreement to specify how that burden will be handled. An experienced Florida divorce attorney can help you prepare for the potential tax consequences of your property division agreement as well as work with an experienced tax professional to help ensure your rights are protected and that you understand the potential tax consequences of your agreement.
Division of Retirement Accounts
You will want to make sure that your divorce settlement includes specifics about how the agreement will address joint and individual retirement accounts. These include traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, 401(k)s, and even spousal portions of social security if a marriage has lasted for more than 10 years.
You may have several options when it comes to these types of assets, depending on their specifics. As with division of real estate, certain approaches to dividing retirement accounts or even granting a lump sum portion of a retirement account can have significant consequences for both spouses. You want to make sure you work with your divorce attorney to prepare appropriate Qualified Domestic Relations Orders when it comes to your retirement accounts to avoid unnecessary penalties and to address any potential tax liabilities.
Make Sure Your Parenting Plan is Complete
When children are involved, it is even more important to pay attention to detail and make sure that you are not leaving any loose ends. Parenting plans work best when they are structured. You and your spouse can always modify portions of the agreement at a later date, and can certainly agree to be flexible in how you approach your obligations under the plan. No matter the situation, having a detailed parenting plan is crucial to its success and to helping the children transition during and after a divorce.
Working with an experienced Florida divorce attorney can help you anticipate some of the things you should be sure to include in a comprehensive parenting plan as well as provide you with helpful advice on how to approach modifying such an agreement in the future. In fact, maintaining a relationship with your divorce attorney is helpful on a number of levels should you need to revisit issues or concerns from your divorce, including modification of child custody.
Cover All of Your Bases
Do you want to make sure you are able to keep the dining room cabinet that is a family heirloom? When you moved out, did you leave your grandfather’s golf clubs? It is important to make sure that your divorce settlement spells out exactly how all of your property and assets will be divided because you may not have another chance. Even in the most amicable of divorces where the lines of communication remain open and productive, it is important to make sure you include specifics about all of your joint and individual property. Take your time and work with your attorney to be thorough and make sure
Legal Assistance with Your Florida Divorce
Working with an experienced Florida divorce attorney is an important part of advocating for your rights and making sure that you approach divorce with a clear understanding of some of the things you can expect as well as what your divorce settlement will likely mean for you. There are a number of important factors in addition to those above that play an important role in your divorce settlement, and overlooking them can be easy to do. Your attorney can work with you to make sure your concerns are addressed, your goals are clearer, and your questions are answered. If you need legal assistance with a Florida divorce or have more questions about how property division works in Florida, contact Scott J. Stadler to schedule a consultation and find out how he can work with you to meet your needs throughout the divorce process.