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Due diligence for divorcing spouses

Family law attorneys in Maryland are often very busy in January as people seeking a clean break and a fresh start decide to take action and file for divorce. These decisions are often made after months or years of unhappiness, but rushing through the divorce process in order to make up for this lost time can lead to poor choices and serious financial repercussions in the years ahead.

Most successful business owners only make important decisions after conducting due diligence and consulting experts, and divorcing spouses would be wise to take the same approach to property division negotiations. Income, such as bonuses, that has been earned but not received is often overlooked in these discussions, and studies indicate that a significant number of spouses lie about their incomes or hide money even when their marriages are doing well.

Spouses should also consider the tax implications of a divorce. Assets that have been held for years and have appreciated greatly in value are often fought over during a divorce, but people often fail to tax into account the capital gains taxes that they will be required to pay if they receive these assets as part of a property division settlement and subsequently sell them. Many common mistakes made by divorcing spouses are caused by poor planning and the volatile nature of the divorce process.

Divorce attorneys may seek to identify possible areas of concern by asking their clients questions during an initial consultation, and they may call upon accountants, financial planners or investigators when it seems likely that important parts of the picture are missing. Attorneys may also suggest that divorcing spouses limit their financial exposure by closing joint bank accounts and placing their funds in accounts that only they have access to.

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