Tag: financial

Tending to Money Issues Immediately, part 2


Below are a few steps to follow to help protect your finances during your separation and divorce:

  • Copy documentation about all of your assets – any investments, retirement plans, bonds, mutual funds, savings or money market accounts, etc.
  • Make copies of all financial documents that show your true debts, assets, and expenses (including household and credit card bills, bank records, expenses for the children)
  • Obtain a current credit report to make sure you know of all your liabilities.
  • Sit down and really figure out what you are worth.  Determine the worth of everything you own – household furnishings, real estate, cars, everything.
  • Start keeping track of all debts incurred and money paid to each other after the date of separation.  This includes money spent on joint bills, improvements to the home, moving expenses, children, insurance premiums – everything that could pertain to the two of you.
  • After learning your rights by consulting with us and determining what you have in assets as well as your expenses and income, try to sit down with your spouse to see if you can work out something that is equitable.  Do not do this before you have all of your documentation, however because you cannot negotiate without the facts.  Do not agree to anything or sign anything without consulting your attorney.
  • If you decide to pay for items for your spouse after you have separated, it is very important that a start date and a stop date are delineated.  The particulars of any financial arrangement between the two of you should be put in writing so that there is no misunderstanding. Also, if you put this in writing, these payments may be tax deductible, although they will be considered taxable income to the spouse receiving support.


What Happens Next? Step 3

When an uncontested matter becomes contested an additional retainer is required and the process called “discovery” begins.  The Florida Rules governing these matters requires a lengthy list of financial documents to be provided by both sides.  The law generally gives each side 30 or 45 days to provide these documents.  It is common for people to require more time in gathering these documents.  Sometimes people refuse to provide them so they try to ignore the request.

Discovery can involve subpoenas, requests to produce various documents and evidence and depositions.  All of these things can take a few months to complete.  If people have a pretty simple financial picture, discovery is generally completed within two months and we are ready to go to mediation.

Both depositions and mediations are explained in our next blog, coming soon!