Getting A Divorce? Follow These Five Tips To Protect Yourself And Your Assets
Getting a divorce can be devastating emotionally. It can also wreak havoc with your finances, impacting you now and for years into the future. Our Bronx & Westchester estate planning attorneys recommend important tips for getting the best possible outcome and ensuring your future financial security.
- Address marital debts prior to a final divorce order.
According to Business Insider, the average American is more than $50,000 in debt. As a married couple, you may have taken out a mortgage, car payments, and personal loans, in addition to owing money on credit cards, medical bills, and tax debts. Make every effort to address these during divorce and prior to any final orders being issued. Take your name off joint accounts and consider selling certain property in order to eliminate joint debts. Having to continue to pay bills from your marriage is the last thing you want when making a fresh start after divorce.
- Get your fair share of any marital property and assets.
Once you pay off all joint debts, consider any marital property and assets that are leftover. This includes homes, vacation properties, cars, boats, and recreational vehicles, furniture, home decor, antiques or collectibles, as well as money in bank accounts, investments, and shares in businesses. New York is an equitable division state, meaning that rather than split everything equally, the goal is to reach a settlement that is fair to both parties involved.
- Do not overlook retirement benefits.
Your plans for the future and for eventual retirement may have been closely tied in with those of your spouse. Be aware that during a divorce, you have a right to any retirement benefits they may have earned or accumulated over the years. This includes pensions, 401k or other accounts. You may also be entitled to a portion of their Social Security retirement benefits if you were married at least ten years and meet other qualifying factors.
- Consider your rights regarding spousal support.
Under New York divorce laws, you may be entitled to spousal support or alimony payments if you make significantly less than your spouse or sacrificed your own career or education for the sake of the marriage. This can help you maintain the same lifestyle you enjoyed during the marriage while gaining the skills or experience needed to reenter the workforce.
- Update estate planning documents.
Make an appointment with our New York estate planning attorneys to update your will and other important documents. You will also need to reconsider beneficiaries in terms of life insurance and those authorized to act on your behalf in regard to health care powers of attorney, living wills, and other advance directives.
Contact an Attorney Today for Help
As experienced New York estate planning and asset protection attorneys, you can count on Cavallo & Cavallo to help you address important matters that could impact your future when getting a divorce. Call or contact our office online to request a consultation in our office today.