Prudent financial planning includes considering divorce

On behalf of South Tampa Law Group posted in divorce on Wednesday, June 29, 2016.

Divorce negotiations can quickly become contentious for Florida couples when potentially delicate matters like spousal support or property division are discussed, and this may be particularly true when one of the spouses involved has made most or all of the couple’s important financial decisions. Financial planning and family law advisers tend to agree that the best way to avoid such situations is for spouses to take a more proactive approach and consider the possibility of divorce when making monetary decisions.

Married couples are sometimes reluctant to talk about how their financial decisions could impact future divorce negotiations because they fear, either consciously or subconsciously, that simply having these discussing could make their marriages more fragile. However, spouses who fail to take all foreseeable scenarios into consideration or leave most of the important decisions to their husbands or wives risk being left at a huge disadvantage should they decide to divorce.

These issues can be especially important when spouses have elaborate investment portfolios or complex business assets. Couples often have separate retirement accounts, and it may appear prudent for them to compare these plans and invest more heavily into one that offers greater returns or charges lower fees. This strategy could pay off handsomely if couples remain married well into their retirement years, but it could also lead to angry exchanges during divorce negotiations if they do not.

When dealing with spouses who have been kept out of the financial decision making process either by choice or design, experienced family law attorneys may spend time reviewing investments, retirement plans and business arrangements. When these efforts reveal signs that assets may have been hidden or undervalued, attorneys may call upon forensic accountants, real estate appraisers, investment specialists or asset managers to ensure that their clients receive what they are legally entitled to.