Join me in a typical consultation for divorce, “What kind of retirement accounts are there?” Puzzled look. I continue probing, “Does your spouse have a 401k?” Heads nodding, a tentative, “Yes, I think so”. “How about a pension plan or IRA?” Uncertainty and, “I’m not sure.” Needless to say, this client also won’t know about stock options or stocks, bonds, mutual fund accounts, etc.
Marital Assets in Alabama Divorces Based on Personal and Clients Experiences
I’m not judging. I personally hate dealing with this kind of thing and have full-time people on staff just so I don’t have to do it. It’s easier to let someone else do it. I know. Of course, you trust your spouse to take care of the marital assets. But the same thing can happen to you that happened to me about twenty-five years ago.
I had a bookkeeper embezzle thousands of dollars from me. How was she able to do this? Because I didn’t keep track of the cash deposits. She had two deposit books, one to show me, and one she used to make the deposits, notably without any cash. Fortunately, I caught it in time to recover most of it and it was a valuable lesson. A lesson that could have been avoided had I been paying attention.
You may want to hurry your way through your divorce. In Alabama, you can get divorced in thirty days. But if you don’t have a grasp of what the assets are you are very likely to come out with the short end of the stick. I have seen so many clients who believe what their spouse is telling them about the amount of money in accounts without asking for documents or conducting financial discovery.
Recently, I had a former client come in because her ex is suing her for stock options he wasn’t awarded in the original divorce. It’s not going to be good for him, because he agreed that each party keeps their own retirement. Her options were paid into her retirement. If he had protected himself before signing on the dotted line, he would have had thousands of dollars.
What you Should Know When Getting a Divorce in Huntsville, Alabama?
If you are getting a divorce in Huntsville, Alabama, assets such as stocks and dividends may come into play. You want to ensure that you know what that means to you and your financial future. Many times, the trust has been broken between the parties way before you sit down to negotiate. Can you be sure that all the assets are disclosed?
If you file a contested divorce in Alabama, you will have a chance to conduct financial discovery. In that case, your spouse will have to disclose under oath what the assets are.
If they lie, you can then go back to the Court and ask them to be held in contempt and for the asset to be divided. That is not the case if you just take their word for it and go on your merry way. If you are contemplating a divorce in Alabama, make sure you have a grasp of the financials. Check your credit report, ask to see statements, look at the checking and savings accounts, be proactive.
We are here to help you navigate these financial matters. After 25+ years of practice, I have seen every trick in the book. We can help you navigate your way to the settlement you deserve. Contact Leigh Daniel, Attorney At Law.