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Negotiating a property settlement is one of the things couples must sort out when they divorce. But divorce is often an emotionally trying time for the family, especially for couples who’ve been together for years. It’s a life-altering decision that often means changes both parties will need to accept. If you are at a loss at how to go about negotiating for that settlement, here are seven considerations to help you make the right decision.
Money is an Issue
You’re going to be emotional. You might be tempted to say things out of guilt, regret, or even anger. Don’t let your emotions cloud your judgment or push you into saying anything that could backfire on you later when you negotiate the settlement. Talk to a lawyer with considerable experience in handling family law property settlement cases. And be sure to come up with a budget. If you plan to keep some of the property, do you earn enough to maintain those properties, cover the upkeep costs, and pay for taxes?
Know the Tax Implications
There is no 50/50 division when it’s time to divvy up the property. That’s because properties are taxed. Depending on how much you earn and can afford to keep, you could end up with fewer properties. Talk to your lawyer about the family law property settlement regarding taxes. Make sure you completely understand the tax implications that come from owning property. Also, sometimes, the property your spouse might want to retain could triple in property values in the future. You might want to factor all that into the discussion, Divorce Mag says.
Decide About the House
Will you keep the house? You’ll need to decide about the property before everything else. It would be nice to keep your home. But be realistic. If you’re emotional at this time, your lawyer could help you go over the important points. For instance, if the mortgage isn’t in your name, then you and your spouse will need to talk about that. You’ll need to qualify for the mortgage if you want to keep the property under your name. But can you afford the monthly cost? What about the maintenance expenses? You’ll need money for the property taxes, too, along with unexpected maintenance costs that may come up such as changing the wiring or replacing the roof.
Understand the Value of Your Assets
How much do you really have in terms of your assets? This will include everything, even your investments, stocks, and more. Does it seem like your partner wants you to take all the high-risk investments? If the market takes a turn for the worse, though, you’ll end up taking a beating from all that loss. If you’re dividing shared assets or a portfolio of investments, make sure that you understand the risks that come with each of the investments. Talk to your lawyer, so you’ll know if you’re making a big mistake.
Ensure the Proper Value
Are you going to use the value of the annual statement of a pension when you divide the properties? You shouldn’t. It’s best to ask a professional to value certain types of pensions. That way, you don’t miss your chance of getting the best possible amount. Also, if it’s sharing or selling off a business, ask an expert to perform the evaluation.
Make Sure There’s Insurance
If you receive spousal support and your spouse passes away, you’re going to be left with no income. If you have kids to raise or you’re already in your 50s and 60s and receiving financial support, then it’s crucial to talk to your spouse about getting insurance. That way, even if your former spouse dies, you’ll still be covered. You won’t have to fear for your financial future.
Ask About Tax Returns
A divorce also affects your tax returns. You could make many claims on your tax return, especially the ones that involve your kids. That could save you a lot of tax dollars. Many of these could be complicated, though. Talk to your Townsville lawyer about the family law property settlement regarding taxes. By talking to your legal counsel, you can get something good out of your divorce.
Hiring Legal Assistance
Get someone with the proper credentials and years of experience in handling divorce cases. Talk about payment methods. Some lawyers charge by the hour. Some have a fixed rate and go on retainer. Consider your budget and needs before you hire one.