How To Get The Most Out Of Your Divorce Settlement
After years of being married, your financial security may be closely tied to your spouse. It is common to hear stories of people who go through a divorce in Fort Lauderdale and lose everything. Find out steps you can take to prevent this and to get the most in a divorce settlement.
Make A Complete Inventory Of All Marital Property and Assets
The first step towards getting the most out of a divorce settlement is to make a complete inventory of all marital property and assets you and your spouse possess. When filing a divorce through the Broward County Court, you will be required to submit a Florida Family Law Financial Affidavit. This details each party’s income, expenses, and everything they have earned, purchased, or otherwise acquired over the course of the marriage. Items to pay close attention to include:
- Earnings: If your spouse makes considerably more than you, you may be entitled to spousal support. Rather than relying on bank statements and pay stubs, get copies of prior tax returns. These provide a more complete picture and often reveal hidden sources of income.
- Savings: In addition to funds in bank accounts, check tax returns for stocks, digital currency, and other investments. Be sure and include money in 401ks and pensions, as well as any Social Security benefits they may be entitled to.
- Real property: Include any homes, land, vacation homes, or timeshares.
- Vehicles: In addition to cars, consider motorcycles, boats, ATVs, and other recreational vehicles.
- Household furnishings: Include all furniture, household supplies, home decor, artwork, and antiques.
- Collectibles: Guns, stamps, coins, baseball cards, and other collectible items can be worth considerable amounts of money.
- Personal belongings: Include furs, leather coats, jewelry, and other items that often carry hefty price tags.
- Business interests: Whether they own or are a partner in an established business, have a startup, or sell items through their own or other websites, be sure and include any business assets, inventory, and profits.
Negotiating A Divorce Settlement
Under the Florida Statutes, marital property and assets are distributed on an equitable basis in a divorce. This means that both partners get a fair, though not necessarily even, share. In general, it is better to negotiate a personalized settlement rather than have a judge decide. Factors that are likely to influence divorce negotiations include:
- The length of your marriage;
- Whether you gave up your own career or education to support your spouse;
- Your contributions in acquiring and/or maintaining marital property;
- Any dissipation of marital assets, meaning your spouse sold, squandered, or otherwise depreciated the value of items you were entitled to.
Contact Our Fort Lauderdale Divorce Attorney
You have one chance to get what you are entitled to in a divorce settlement. To get the maximum amount you need to move on after a divorce, reach out to the law office of Vanessa L. Prieto. Call or contact our Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney online today to request a consultation.