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How to get the most out of your divorce settlement

Image Credits: UnsplashImage Credits: Unsplash
  • Engage with lawyers, forensic accountants, and personal accountants early in the process.
  • Thoroughly document your needs and set a realistic post-divorce budget.
  • Avoid rushing the process to ensure a fair and equitable settlement.

Divorce is a challenging process, both emotionally and financially. However, with careful planning and strategic actions, you can ensure that you receive a fair and equitable settlement. Here are some essential tips and strategies to help you make the most of your divorce settlement.

1. Consult a Lawyer Early

One of the first steps you should take when considering a divorce is to consult with a lawyer. This can provide you with crucial advice and prevent your spouse from hiding or disposing of assets. As noted by Greater Orlando Family Law, "Consulting with an attorney first can give you some action steps to take prior to moving forward".

2. Hire a Forensic Accountant

In high-asset divorces, the likelihood of hidden or forgotten assets is high. A forensic accountant can help uncover these assets and ensure they are included in the settlement. This step is crucial for a transparent and fair division of assets.

3. Work with a Personal Accountant

While a forensic accountant tracks down assets, a personal accountant helps you understand your financial needs post-divorce. This includes determining monthly expenses and maintaining your standard of living. This information is vital for alimony calculations and ensuring you are financially secure.

4. Document Your Needs

If you have specific needs, such as medical conditions that incur additional expenses, document them thoroughly. Providing evidence of these needs can influence both asset division and spousal support payments.

5. Negotiate Carefully

Divorce negotiations can be emotionally charged. It's essential to let your lawyer lead these discussions to keep emotions in check and reach a resolution efficiently. Methods like mediation or collaborative divorce can help keep court costs down and preserve marital assets.

6. Establish Separate Accounts

Once your divorce is final, establish separate financial accounts. This step is crucial for financial independence and clarity. It also helps in managing your post-divorce budget effectively .

7. Determine Post-Divorce Income

Understanding your income sources post-divorce is vital. Whether it's alimony, child support, or a new job, knowing your income helps in setting a realistic budget and financial plan.

8. Set a New Household Budget

Creating a new household budget is essential to avoid incurring additional debt. List all expenses and compare them with your post-divorce income to ensure financial stability.

9. Avoid Rushing the Process

Rushing through a divorce can lead to an unfair division of assets. Take the time to locate and properly value all assets and liabilities with professional help. This ensures a fair settlement and prevents future regrets.

10. Be Patient

Patience is key in securing a favorable divorce settlement. Rushing can lead to overlooked information and a less favorable outcome. Being patient signals that you are willing to wait for a fair settlement.

Heather Locus emphasizes the importance of understanding your financial situation and planning accordingly. "Divorce is a complex affair, both emotionally and financially. While it's true that no two divorces are exactly alike, there are some things you can do to smooth the financial road before you".

By following these strategies, you can navigate the complexities of divorce and secure a settlement that supports your financial future. Remember, the goal is to emerge from the process with a fair share of assets and a clear financial plan for the future. 

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