divorce assets

Oct
27

How To Avoid Major Financial Pitfalls in a Divorce

You are getting divorced!  After the emotional decision is made you must address financial situations impacting the family breakup.

What are the major financial pitfalls of a divorce? Are you prepared to stay on top of all financial problems and decisions in this divorce to strive for a financial win-win situation?

  1. Where’s the liquid cash? Divorce generally never goes as fast as you would like nor do you receive as much as you think you should! If divorce is imminent start saving up money now! You will need to pay divorce expenses and have support for your new household.  There will be many unanticipated costs that may drain you financially.

  • If you don’t have a credit card in your name get one now.  If you share credit with your spouse, close out as many credit cards as possible if he/she can charge on your credit. Even if you don’t use the cards, the account balance will still be owed and both spouses may be legally responsible for the debt.
  1. Not Prepared for this Divorce?  Divorce is a serious change of life event. Get Prepared Now! Timing is all important! When is the best time for you to get divorce?  Make sure your financial situation is good before you take the divorce leap. Need new tires, buy them. Kids need dental work, see the dentist.  Just remember: after the separation, your expenses will be paid by court order and not always be to your liking.

    1. Where are the important divorce financial records? Don’t leave without all your documents that identify what you and your spouse accumulated during your marriage and which can establish the fair market value! Even if you were not in charge of finances while you were married, you must secure copies of all records. You are entitled to your share of financial property and any additional income you find may increase the earnings that calculate child support or spousal maintenance support.  What are you looking for?  At least three years of tax returns, mortgage paper on your home, wills, trusts, bank, credit card, and financial statements, car registrations and titles, insurance policies, and deeds to real estate.  If you have separate property from inheritance or gifts from your family, make sure you have all records of these transactions.  Our blog, Texas Financial Checklist http://dld.bz/dqcej  is a detailed list of items and records needed to have before filing for divorce. A very good item to use for your preparation!

  1. Have you overlooked any Divorce Assets?  If a business is involved a forensic accountant may be hired to look of any signs of additional income or overstated expenses.

  • Hobbies and side businesses that use expensive equipment or generate income needs to carefully be looked out.  Are you entitled to compensation for expenses you paid to get your spouse through school?
  • All assets, big or small can add up. These assets can always be used for trade on something you can use.
  • Your spouse may try to hide assets. By keeping all documents and paystubs to make sure there are not any irregularities, things usually work out fine. Stay honest and reveal your assets.
    1. Do Not Ignore Tax Consequences!  Divorce may or may not create taxable events but you must report it on your tax return. Should you sell the house now to claim the capital gain exclusion? Who should be paying the mortgage until it sells? Should you take your spousal maintenance monthly or in a lump sum? What about retirement funds? An accountant can help to determine the best path for you on these questions.

    1. Passive Observer of your Divorce? NO!  Get control of this process, focus on practical things and work with your future Ex to get this divorce over! You can do this! There is a reason for this divorce and you are the master/mistress of your destiny. Your children need you now to be a responsible parent and wise decision making will save you time and legal fees. Listen to your attorney but you make the decisions!

    1. Is Divorce your survival plan?  Now that you have decided to divorce you must break it to your children. People engaged in a Divorce should be in survival mode.  The person who will be your future “EX” is looking out for themselves and you need to look out for yourself and your children.  YOU must insist within reason on getting what you need and deserve! Emotions and money do not mix!  You must be able to take care of yourself and your family financially so look at all property division decisions very carefully and make good decisions to bring the divorce to a successful conclusion.

    1. Prepare for the worst! When entering into a divorce, prepare yourself for the worst!  If you are prepared for anything, than your fears will not cause you to panic and you will keep control of your situation. Outside of death, divorce is considered one of the worst emotional situations that a human being will ever experience!

  1. How will you support yourself and the kids after divorce? Hopefully this is not a problem, but now would be a good time to get some career counseling at a community college, university or local job center. Having a fulfilling career is lucrative and helps your self-esteem!

  1. Get Good Advice! Decisions you make now will affect the rest of your life.  Find a good, knowledgeable attorney to help you though the rough spots. If you are emotionally a wreck, find a good therapist. If you feel there are hidden assets, hire a forensic accountant. Now is the time to get the best advice you can afford!  You will have to live with your financial decisions for a long time.

DETAIL

Preparing for a Texas Divorce

Preparing for a Texas Divorce – Part 1: Assets 
 
Preparing for a divorce is painful no matter the circumstance.  Before you get into the tangle of the divorce process, you can reduce the expense, stress and conflict many people face by making sure you are prepared.  Planning ahead allows you to make sound decisions and start preparing for your life post-divorce, and may also help you avoid post-divorce pitfalls. Below is a list of items you may want to gather before counseling with an attorney.

Documents

  1. A Listing of all Real Property, address and location, including (include time-shares and vacation properties):
    1. Deeds of Trust
    2. Notes
    3. Legal Description
    4. Mortgage Companies (Name, Address, Telephone Number, Account Number, Balance of Note, Monthly Payments)
    5. Current fair market value
  2. Mineral Interests (include any property in which you own the mineral estate, separate and apart from the surface estate, such as oil and gas leases; also include royalty interests, work interests, and producing and non-producing oil and gas wells.
    1. Name of mineral interest
    2. Type of interest
    3. County of location
    4. Legal description
    5. Name of producer/operator
    6. Current market value
  3. Cash and accounts with financial institutions (checking, savings, commercial bank accounts, credit union funds, IRA’s, CD’s, 401K’s, pension plans and any other form of retirement accounts):
    1. Name of institution, address and telephone number
    2. Amount in institution on date of marriage
    3. Amount in institution currently
    4. Account Number
    5. Names on Account
  4. Publicly traded stock, bonds and other securities (include securities not in a brokerage, mutual fund, or retirement account):
    1. Number of shares
    2. Type of securities
    3. Certificate numbers
    4. In possession of
    5. Name of exchange which listed
    6. Pledged as collateral?
    7. Date acquired
    8. Tax basis
    9. Current market value
    10. If stock (date option granted, number of shares and value per share)
  5. Closely held business interests:
    1. Name of business
    2. Address
    3. Type of business
    4. % of ownership
    5. Number of shares owned if applicable
    6. Value of shares
    7. Balance of accounts receivables
    8. Cash flow reports
    9. Balance of liabilities
    10. List of company assets
  6. Retirement Benefits
    1. Exact name of plan
    2. Address of plan administrator
    3. Employer
    4. Employee
    5. Starting date of contributions
    6. Amount in account on date of marriage
    7. Amount currently in account
    8. Balance of any loan against plan
  7. Insurance and Annuities
    1. Name of insurance company
    2. Policy Number
    3. Insured
    4. Type of insurance (whole/term/universal)
    5. Amount of monthly premiums
    6. Date of Issue
    7. Face amount
    8. Cash surrender value
    9. Current surrender value
    10. Designated beneficiary
  8. Motor Vehicles (including mobile homes, boats, trailers, motorcycles, recreational vehicles; exclude company owned)
    1. Year
    2. Make
    3. Model
    4. Value
    5. Name on title
    6. VIN Number
    7. Fair Market Value
    8. Name of creditor (if any), address and telephone
    9. Persons listed on debt
    10. Account number
    11. Balance of any loan and monthly payment
    12. Net Equity in vehicle
  9. Money owed by spouse (including any expected federal or state income tax refund but not including receivables connected with any business)

10.  Household furniture, furnishings and Fixtures

11.  Electronics and computers

12.  Antiques, artwork and collectibles (including works of art, paintings, tapestry, rugs, crystal, coin or stamp collections)

13.  Miscellaneous sporting goods and firearms

14.  Jewelry

15.  Animals and livestock

16.  Farming equipment

17.  Club Memberships

18.  Travel Award Benefits (including frequent flyer miles)

19.  Safe deposit box items

20.  Burial plots

21.  Items in any storage facility

22.  A listing of separate property (property prior to marriage, family heir looms, property gifted)

  1. 23.  Listing of all liabilities (including mortgages, credit card debt, personal loans, automobile loans, etc.):
          1.  Name of entity, address and telephone number
          2.  Account number
          3.  Amount owed     
          4.  Monthly payment
          5.  Property securing payment (if any)
          6.  Persons listed as liable for debt
By Nacol Law Firm | Property and Asset Division
DETAIL

Fathers Financial Check List in Preparation for a Texas Divorce

Preparing for a Texas Divorce:  Assets
Preparing for a divorce is painful no matter the circumstance. Before you get into the tangle of the Texas divorce process, you can reduce the expense, stress and conflict many people face by making sure you are prepared. Planning ahead allows you to make sound decisions and start preparing for your life post-divorce, and may also help you avoid post-divorce pitfalls. Below is a list of items you need to gather before counseling with an attorney.

Documents

1. A Listing of all Real Property, address and location, including (include time-shares and vacation properties):
1. Deeds of Trust
2. Notes
3. Legal Description
4. Mortgage Companies (Name, Address, Telephone Number, Account Number, Balance of Note, Monthly Payments)
5. Current fair market value

2. Cash and accounts with financial institutions (checking, savings, commercial bank accounts, credit union funds, IRA’s, CD’s, 401K’s, pension plans and any other form of retirement accounts):
1. Name of institution, address and telephone number
2. Amount in institution on date of marriage
3. Amount in institution currently
4. Account Number
5. Names on Account

3. Retirement Benefits
1. Exact name of plan
2. Address of plan administrator
3. Employer
4. Employee
5. Starting date of contributions
6. Amount in account on date of marriage
7. Amount currently in account
8. Balance of any loan against plan

4. Publicly traded stock, bonds and other securities (include securities not in a brokerage, mutual fund, or retirement account):
1. Number of shares
2. Type of securities
3. Certificate numbers
4. In possession of
5. Name of exchange which listed
6. Pledged as collateral?
7. Date acquired
8. Tax basis
9. Current market value
10. If stock (date option granted, number of shares and value per share)

5. Insurance and Annuities
1. Name of insurance company
2. Policy Number
3. Insured
4. Type of insurance (whole/term/universal)
5. Amount of monthly premiums
6. Date of Issue
7. Face amount
8. Cash surrender value
9. Current surrender value
10. Designated beneficiary

6. Closely held business interests:
1. Name of business
2. Address
3. Type of business
4. % of ownership
5. Number of shares owned if applicable
6. Value of shares
7. Balance of accounts receivables
8. Cash flow reports
9. Balance of liabilities
10. List of company assets

7. Mineral Interests (include any property in which you own the mineral estate, separate and apart from the surface estate, such as oil and gas leases; also include royalty interests, work interests, and producing and non-producing oil and gas wells.
1. Name of mineral interest
2. Type of interest
3. County of location
4. Legal description
5. Name of producer/operator
6. Current market value

8. Motor Vehicles (including mobile homes, boats, trailers, motorcycles, recreational vehicles; exclude company owned)
1. Year
2. Make
3. Model
4. Value
5. Name on title
6. VIN Number
7. Fair Market Value
8. Name of creditor (if any), address and telephone
9. Persons listed on debt
10. Account number
11. Balance of any loan and monthly payment
12. Net Equity in vehicle

9. Money owed by spouse (including any expected federal or state income tax refund but not including receivables connected with any business)

10. Household furniture, furnishings and Fixtures

11. Electronics and computers

12. Antiques, artwork and collectibles (including works of art, paintings, tapestry, rugs, crystal, coin or stamp collections)

13. Miscellaneous sporting goods and firearms

14. Jewelry

15. Animals and livestock

16. Farming equipment

17. Club Memberships

18. Travel Award Benefits (including frequent flyer miles)

19. Safe deposit box items

20. Burial plots

21. Items in any storage facility

22. A listing of separate property (property prior to marriage, family heir looms, property gifted)

23. Listing of all liabilities (including mortgages, credit card debt, personal loans, automobile loans, etc.):
a. Name of entity, address and telephone number
b. Account number
c. Amount owed
d. Monthly payment
e. Property securing payment (if any)
f. Persons listed as liable for debt

By Nacol Law Firm | Property and Asset Division
DETAIL

Please contact father’s rights Dallas Attorney Mark Nacol, or father’s rights Dallas Attorney Julian Nacol with the Nacol Law Firm P.C., for legal insight to your rights as a father. Both attorney Mark Nacol, and attorney Julian Nacol , provide counsel in the area of family law including divorce, father’s rights, interstate jurisdiction, child support, child custody, visitation, paternity, parent alienation, modifications, property division, asset division and more. Attorney Mark A. Nacol is board certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Our attorneys at The Nacol Law Firm P.C. serve clients throughout Texas, including Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Grayson, Kaufman, Rockwall and Tarrant counties and the communities of Addison, Allen, Arlington, Carrollton, Dallas, Fort Worth, Frisco, Garland, Grapevine, Highland Park, McKinney, Mesquite, Plano, Prosper, Richardson, Rowlett and University Park, Murphy,Wylie, Lewisville, Flower Mound, Irving, along with surrounding DFW areas.

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