What do you fear? If you ask 20 people, they may each give a different answer. One might respond with a fear of flying. Another might worry about losing a job. A third person might say that it is the danger of what lurks around a dark corner. While the answers are different, the common thread is often that the fear is based on the “unknown” involved in what could happen.
When it comes to divorce, the situation is often the same. Some of the biggest fears that people have about divorce involve questions about “what will the end result look like?” Divorce involves a lot of decisions about property division, alimony, child custody or child support, and not knowing the end result can certainly be scary.
When we hire a divorce attorney, the lawyer’s assistance doesn’t just facilitate the process of filing documents with the court. The attorney’s legal advice, guidance and advocacy can go a long way in protecting interests and providing the knowledge that helps assuage these fears.
For instance, one of the biggest fears is over getting a fair share in the process of property division. Splitting the dollar amount in a bank account in half is easy, but most assets don’t work that way. Division of property can quickly become complex, like dividing a business or retirement accounts.
Understanding what is marital property and what might be considered separate property is often the first step. An attorney will also help determine the value of an asset — both the financial and the emotional value. An attorney can also help ensure that a suspicion of hidden assets doesn’t turn into reality.
Whether the fear is over the big picture or even a small detail, like whether an email will violate a no harrassment clause, the spouse should discuss it with his or her divorce attorney.
Source: CBS News, “Divorce financial planner: 3 common fears,” Robert Pagliarini, Aug. 23, 2013