Find Your New Financial Footing
In divorce, financial worries keep almost everyone up at night. It doesn’t matter what scenario you’re coming from either. The lower wage earner is anxious about the drastic lifestyle shift they might be facing. The higher earner frets over losing all they’ve built to unequal property division and overwhelming spousal maintenance. Professionals with equal incomes wring their hands over the intense and complicated number crunching, especially if business ownership is in the mix.
At DuBois Levias Law Group, we focus on your financial future from the jump. No matter what, your economic situation is about to change markedly. There is typically no going back on what you can get after the divorce. Our financially savvy attorneys and expert advisors give you the best shot at securing a solid settlement you can actually live with.
The first order of business? Finding out what you have. Even before initiating your divorce, start getting together all your financial paperwork, especially if you have a secretive or greedy spouse. Find bank accounts. Tax returns. Business records. Credit card statements. Mortgages. Titles. Stocks. Bonds. Retirement accounts. Even non-marital assets for accounting purposes.
“Paperwork” might be a misnomer too. This is no longer as easy as rifling through file cabinets. Many of our financial documents exist online now. It can take some sleuthing, or even subpoenas.
ADDING IT UP
Our paralegals are skilled at helping gather financial data and putting together spreadsheets. Once you have all the raw data, it’s time for a math exercise. Even put it on a flip chart, like lawyers do in the courtroom all the time, to see the straight numbers.
First, list the value of your marital assets. Next, subtract the debts you have on those assets. Then you can figure out what the net marital portion of your assets will be. You’ll also want to chart your separate assets.
DIVIDING IT OUT
Washington State starts from the proposition that assets are generally split 50/50. Nearly all assets, property, and debts acquired during a marriage are subject to division.
Does this mean everything will be equally divided in half? Not exactly. Courts typically start with the idea that things will be split evenly but analyze other factors that might support a different percentage split. It really does depend on the bigger financial landscape of each spouse.
Hire a Law Firm that Loves to Crunch Numbers.
We dig a solid gold spreadsheet—and know how to follow convoluted paper trails to uncover assets. Financially complicated divorces are our strong suit. We have a long history litigating high asset cases, especially those involving a business. We hire back-up too. Our CPAs and valuation experts are skilled at both complex accounting and speaking on the stand.
Legalese Defined: Discovery
Discovery is the process of uncovering the assets from the other side. This legal step before your settlement or trial is critical in a divorce proceeding. This can take the form of everything from voluntarily sharing information to legal requests for production to interrogatories to subpoenas. Discovery can root out misconduct, falsehoods, and hidden assets.