Planning in advance if you believe you or your spouse will want to divorce can have a significant effect on the financial outcome. Whether you are of modest income with few assets or fabulously wealthy, planning ahead for one of the largest financial decisions that you will make is plain common sense.
Advance planning can be as simple as making copies of important financial records including recent tax returns, bank statements, credit card statements, retirement statements, house closing documents and all other documents that describe or value your assets not only now but also at the time you were married. New York recognizes that certain assets owned prior to the marriage and if kept separate throughout the marriage are
separate property, subject to certain exceptions. Once an intention to divorce has been stated one person may try to hide these records or even destroy documents. While duplicates may be available for some records, others may be much harder to recreate or obtain.
Some people contemplating a divorce will start to accumulate money in a separate account whether to pay personal expenses, hire an attorney or simply have a nest egg in case the primary income earner stops providing money for necessary expenses.
Clients who anticipate a significant change up or down in their salary, the value of their business or in anticipation of future opportunities may wish to time the commencement of their divorce to take advantage of these events.
Consulting with a divorce attorney in anticipation of your own desire or your belief that your spouse will seek a divorce can be extremely beneficial. A pre-divorce consultation can alleviate stress by giving you an opportunity to have questions answered correctly rather than just relying upon the advice of well meaning friends and family.
I have been practicing law for over 30 years and have exclusively practiced matrimonial law for the past 21 years. Please call my office to allow me to share my knowledge with you and to help you prepare in advance.