If you and your spouse are going through a separation, then one of the first things you two can benefit from doing is sitting down and making a list of every single asset that the two of you have acquired during your marriage.
In doing this inventory, it’s important that you leave off of the list anything that one spouse or the other inherited during the course of the marriage. It’s also critical that you not include anything on that list that you or your spouse brought into the marriage as neither one would qualify as marital property.
At this point, as you list assets, you should not just list tangible ones, but bank or investment accounts as well. After all, these can also be considered marital assets. If your spouse senses you have them, yet didn’t disclose them, then there’s a strong chance they will be uncovered anyways down the road.
If you feel as if you and your spouse are going to have difficulty in coming to an agreement about how to split up your assets, then you may find that hiring a mediator is a particularly effective way to do so. Working through this outside of the courtroom will save you lots of time and expense down the road.
It’s important the divorcing couples do their best to decide who is going to keep what marital property, including access to financial accounts after the marriage had ended. This is because if a judge has to make that decision for you, then they will simply be looking to divide up property in accordance with state law and not concern themselves with feelings.
And, if you think that you can skate by not disclosing certain financial accounts to your spouse, then think again. It’s illegal to do so. You have what’s called a ‘fiduciary duty’ to you spouse to disclose all assets to him or her.
Any attempt to circumvent it could result in the spouse with the undisclosed assets having to pay the other’s legal fees and having to give up the asset he or she attempted to hide. It can also make that spouse come off as dishonest to the judge.
If you’re currently separated from your spouse and divorce is on the horizon, then it’s important that you sit down with an experienced Orlando divorce attorney to discuss how you and your spouse may handle asset division in your legal case.
Source: Live About, “3 tips for dividing marital property during divorce,” Cathy Meyer, accessed Aug. 11, 2017