Call Us: (856)222-4723

November 2015 Tip of the Month

Til Death Due Us Part... Oh Yeh, I Remember Saying That

Obtaining a divorce does not necessarily mean that two people who find that they are incompatible have to undergo extended emotional and financial pain. Intelligent couples are increasingly taking a mature approach to their problem and to devising a fair resolution. The approach typically may include actions (among many others) such as:

  • Consulting a marriage counselor to determine whether the marriage is salvageable and to minimize anger or emotional damage for either partner.
  • Obtaining information about the state's divorce laws.  (While but a "bridge away", it's incredible how New Jersey differs from Pennsylvania differs from New York differs from Delaware....)
  • Considering the use of experts seasoned in the practice of Alternative Dispute Resolution such as mediation (feel free to ask us for the names of credible professionals who have shown us they communicate well and facilitate resolution rather than fuel the hostility).
  • Obtaining separate attorneys conversant with divorce law to insure each party's interests are protected.
  • Reaching an agreement between the spouses to accept a single appraisal of marital assets because this can avoid substantial appraisal fees. As an aside, even when we are selected as a jointly retained forensic accountant/business appraiser, we often still encourage the non-propertied spouse to at least confer with another professional ensuring they have someone on their side to explain the analysis to see how it might affect their particular position(s).
  • Assessing the tax consequences of property settlements.
  • Having both spouses prepare a net worth affidavit that includes budgetary living expenses, and a listing of assets and liabilities. (Different states have varying requirements.)
  • Reviewing the tax consequences of alimony for the parties.
  • Reaching an amicable dissolution of the marriage.

Of course, when there are children involved, the problems become more complicated. Consideration needs to be given to who has custody of the children, the amount of support payments provided by the non-custodial parent, the tax and financial consequences of either parent claiming a dependency exemption, and the psychological impact of the family separation on the children.

We are frequently consulted on the tax and financial aspects of alternative divorce arrangements or to evaluate business interests, making every effort to provide constructive advice that benefits each of the parties. Even when we are not jointly retained, how beneficial we've found it when attorneys for both sides get in touch with the forensic accountants/appraisers early on, allowing us to share information.  At least this enables the accountants to "agree where they disagree".

When people are able to work out their marital dissolution in an intelligent and amicable way, both the short and long-term results are usually much better than if the divorce is preceded by a nasty court battle. Call us if you need our services or perhaps names of some of the other credible professionals mentioned above.

Admonition:  Okay, okay. Marty Abo stands corrected.  He thought last weekend he celebrated 14,235 days of marriage.  Alas, Siri on his iPhone corrected him that it's 14,244 days.  Some forensic accountant...forgot leap years over the 39 year period.