Financial mistake in divorce, be prepared

The financial mistakes during divorce proceedings can have a significant impact on your future. Be prepared with everything you need to accurately and with provenance be able to show both your and your partners financial position from both an income and asset position.

Divorce always has one party that is more aggrieved that the other and often long protracted fights in court ensue. Be completely prepared for the unexpected and never say, “she/he wouldn’t do that” Emotions during a divorce run high and and more often than not the malice and hatred that are experienced are unlike any other. BE PREPARED.

  • Make copies of all relevant documents relating to income in form of bank accounts, credit card accounts and investment accounts.
  • Make a note of any financial advisor with company names, advisor name and telephone numbers.
  • Take copies of tax returns and tax numbers of both personal as well as any companies your partner is a member, partner in, or director of.
  • Any joint accounts should be carefully recorded, with withdrawals and deposits attributed to yourself and your partner.
  • Life policies, endowments, retirement funds, annuities and any other form of investments should be recorded and if possible cash values of these policies acquired.
  • This information will set you in good stead when negotiating any settlement as in most cases there are accounts, investments or assets that are not declared.
  • Considering mediation for a quick divorce is an important step in saving a lot of money with protracted legal battles in divorce cases. In the vast majority of cases it boils down to a disagreement over financial settlement and by going the mediation route you will save an enormous amount of money.
  • Prepare your documents well. The courts depend on accurate and clear documentation in order to make a determination of your actual worth and income. By not producing documents that are accurate and leave unanswered questions you are opening yourself up to scrutiny. By the same token, if you have prepared for your divorce battle well and have all the documents and accounts of your partner, it is easy to show him/her up to the courts as an unreliable witness.
  • Do not become emotionally attached to financial assets, view them as things with a realisable value and account for them as such. Adding an emotional element to an asset opens you up to manipulation.
  • Take care to accurately budget for yourself if you are the party that is going to vacate the marital home. Divorces result in the operation of 2 homes and many other aspects that are duplicated and need to be taken into account.
  • Finally, once a settlement has been reached or an order of divorce granted, be meticulous in changing any policy documents to reflect the beneficiaries, add a codicil to your will and check that your estate or trust documents reflect your situation.

Preparedness for all aspects of your divorce, including a likely Rule 43 application are essential.