How Can I Protect My Interests Before Commencing A Divorce?
Prior to commencing a divorce, you can protect your assets by examining your marriage’s complete financial picture. The first thing you should do is obtain copies of the tax returns for the last three to five years which are important, especially if there’s a fluctuation in either spouse’s income over that period of time. You should also get copies of bank records for any joint and/or individual accounts, regardless of whose name is on the account. You also want to obtain copies of any statements reflecting retirement benefit and/or pensions. If there’s money or substantial money in a joint account, you need to be careful. You may want to consider taking at least half of that money and putting it into a separate account. I would not encourage a spouse to spend this money, but instead, put it aside in case the other spouse gets the idea to raid all of the funds from the account, even though both spouses contribute to the account. Obtaining credit card statements is also important, especially if you think that the credit cards are being used for non-marital purposes. I recommend getting a free credit report to know your credit situation. A credit report will provide all of the accounts under your name and give a history of the accounts. Although, it will not provide the individual charges. Only a copy of the statement will provide this information. If a client is interested, I offer a service that furnishes a copy of their credit report.
As far as the children, the best thing to do is to keep caring for them the way you have always cared for them, especially if you’re the primary caretaker. There’s no hidden agenda that I can provide that protects clients when it comes to their children. The court is going act in the best interest of the children and so should you.
Are Forensic Accountants Ever Needed In A Divorce Case?
Forensic accountants can be used in a divorce case. If one spouse owns a business, a forensic accountant is necessary to analyze income and expenses. A forensic accountant may be needed especially when the income on a tax return is flat or very low, which typically means that the business owner is using the business to pay their personal expenses. In this case, the client would certainly need a forensic accountant to carry out an income analysis to see what personal expenses are being paid for out of the business. Personal expenses usually include cars, clothing, car insurance, cell phone bills, etc. Some people write off all of their household bills from the business. Therefore, it is beneficial to have a forensic accountant when your spouse owns their own business. It will provide a cash flow analysis and show a true picture of what their income is. Some assets can be more complex, such as trusts, business options and business valuations. A forensic accountant is necessary to do a valuation of a business, as pensions and other retirement benefits.
Is There Any Benefit To Filing For Divorce Before My Spouse?
There isn’t any benefit to filing for divorce before your spouse. Whether you filed first or second, both parties are treated the same. However, if you are the spouse who is dependent upon the other spouse for support, the one advantage to filing early is that you can file a motion for support . You can make sure that the spouse, who’s the primary earner, will continue to support you and your children during the divorce the same way you were supported when the two of you were married. Sometimes when the dependent spouse files, the spouse who’s provides the majority of the support and pays all the bills, may stop paying, and makes it economically difficult for the other spouse to pursue the divorce. Under these circumstances there is an advantage to filing first.
For more information on Protecting Your Interests Before A Divorce, a personalized case evaluation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (732) 733-2830 today.
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