The Law Offices of James A. Cuddy, LLC

Top property division mistake spouses should avoid

Dividing marital wealth is a daunting task, and one that can bring on a high level of stress for many Connecticut spouses. For many spouses, concerns about the financial landscape that will follow divorce keeps them in unhappy marriages for far too long. Once divorce is on the horizon, it is absolutely imperative that spouses gain a comprehensive understanding of the full range of family finances. Failure to do so can place an individual at a serious disadvantage when it comes to the property division portion of a divorce.

Take, for example, a spouse who has allowed his or her partner to handle all of the family's finances for many years. He or she may have very little knowledge about the level of income, savings or debt that is held within the family. This can make it difficult if not impossible to estimate how assets will be divided during divorce, which can make it hard to create a projected post-divorce budget.

In such cases, the first step toward a positive property division outcome involves gathering information on all of the family's finances. This includes copies of paystubs and tax returns, as well as any employment contracts that spell out bonus structures, stock options or deferred compensation plans. Statements from investment and banking accounts must also be gathered. It is also important to remember debts, as these accounts will also be divided during divorce.

Once all of these matters have been researched and documented, Connecticut spouses will have the proper information to present to a divorce attorney and begin the property division process. Long before either side reaches the negotiation table, spouses should have an idea of which assets they would most like to retain after the divorce. As with any negotiation, it is impossible to plan for an outcome without having full knowledge of where things stand at the beginning of the process.

Source:, "Divorce: 3 Mistakes That Will Crush Your Financial Future", Kathryn Tuggle, May 28, 2015

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