Relationships, like marriages or common-law spousal arrangements, are initiated with the best of intentions in mind and heart. However, the every-day stresses of life, and the toll that family-life can take on some unions, often leads to a rethinking of those original intentions. Luckily, counseling and other professional services are available for couples that find themselves unable to cope with the fallout of stress generated from such developments.
Why Divorce / Separation Planning is Important
Unfortunately, divorces and separations often follow. While many do not expect (or hope for!) such an outcome, it’s always prudent to plan for it. Where such life-altering changes are undertaken without proper planning, additional stress and wrong decision-making follows.
And that’s where our Divorce (and Separation) Planning service can help.
What We Can Do For You
Here are some of the highlights of this service:
- Taking an asset inventory: When an intention/notice to divorce or separate is served (whether it’s as a result of your own initiative or initiated by your spouse/partner), we’ll help you make a full and verifiable inventory of all assets held in your and your spouses’/partners’ names. While this might seem like a relatively “straightforward” task, many find it one of the most challenging aspects of a divorce/separation – especially if they have largely been insulated from the day-to-day finances of the relationship.
- Assessing impacts of joint beneficiary/survivorship: In situations where couples have announced their desire to divorce or separate, the “normal” rules governing joint ownership assets may not apply. We’ll help you understand what your rights are, as survivor/beneficiary, and what you can do to best protect/enforce those rights.
- Disposing your assets: With everything going on in such trying times, you need someone to ensure all of the assets under review are disposed for the most fair and equitable consideration. Our professionals can help!
- Alimony, child-support and other assistance needs: Divorce/separation cases where children are involved, where spousal or child support may be payable or due, or those involving other forms of financial assistance, can be extremely complex. We’ll help you navigate the myriad of laws and statutes around such rights/responsibilities.
- Dealing with pension benefits, health plan coverage and other benefits: Our experts can help you make sense of other benefits that may accrue to you, or payable by you, as a result of your divorce/separation. Some of these might not be immediately apparent – but could have long-term impact on your or your partner/spouse’s financial life.
- Planning your future cash flow, income and spending: If you always played a minor role in managing finances during your relationship, it can be difficult doing so when you are divorced/separated. Let us help you create a new financial road-map for you.
- Settlement of debt: Even though you might not have full-say in the financial decisions during your association, you may be responsible for discharging the liabilities – like debt – arising from them in divorce. We’ll advise on the best way for you to deal with your share of such debt.
- Insurance considerations: Even though couples might soon be divorced, there may be longer-term implications from existing insurance policies or plans that you/your spouse/partner need to be aware of.
- Dealing with tax implications of separation: It’s important to assess what the total net worth of your joint assets are, what considerations you could inherit as a result of sale/disposition, and what the tax impact might be. Our team of professionals will also review your past tax returns to determine the most tax-efficient way to structure a post-divorce/separation settlement.
- Establishing your independent identity (new bank accounts, separate credit history): Now that you will go your own way, you need to emerge from the shadow of your partner’s/spouse’s financial profile, and establish your own. We can offer you practical advice on how to most effectively and painlessly accomplish that.