Divorce can be an emotional and stressful time for your family, and it can also be an uncertain time financially. Both you and your spouse will have to make decisions that will impact your finances now and in the future. However, divorcing couples can better navigate the complicated process when they know what to expect.
A family law attorney can help you come up with a plan to end your marriage while protecting your rights and your financial future. An attorney can help you understand and prepare for some of the most significant financial issues that will arise, including:
Dividing property: New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, meaning state judges will determine a fair distribution of assets which can include a home, a business, cars, stock options and bank accounts. The judge will base a decision on several factors, including:
- Length of the marriage
- Spousal contributions
- Ability to earn
Dividing debts: Both parties should know their outstanding debts before ending a marriage. If you are unsure, a good way to find out is to order a credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies. The report will break down everything you owe in your name, including joint accounts with your spouse. It’s essential to keep your debts from growing during a divorce and to come up with a plan to pay them off before the divorce is final.
Tax issues: Some divorcing couples get caught up over child custody issues and dividing assets while giving little thought to the tax implications of ending their marriage, which can end up costing them thousands of dollars. Tax issues that can arise:
- Who gets the tax exemption for dependents?
- Who gets head of household status?
- Which fees and payments are deductible?
Educating yourself about divorce is key
While divorce can bring out the worst in some people, educating yourself about your financial situation as well as that of your spouse can help you be better prepared for the future. Consulting an experienced family law attorney here in New Jersey can help you protect your rights and help ensure that you are getting the best possible outcome.