This is the next post in my series discussing information one should consider prior to filing for divorce in Las Vegas. My last post discussed questions about one’s marriage that should be seriously considered before filing divorce documents. In this article I will explain why one should know about their finances prior to divorce.
A spouse should make a list of all of their financial assets before divorce
The first thing a spouse should understand prior to filing for divorce, is what kind of assets the community holds. In many marriages, one spouse handles the finances, and the other spouse may only have a hazy understanding of how money is handled. If a spouse does not know where the money is, it is important to learn quickly. One should make a list of all bank accounts and balances, savings accounts, money markets, 401(k)’s, retirement funds, life insurance policies, stocks, bonds, etc. It is important to know how much is invested each month, how much is saved, and what the take home salary of both partners is each month. One should also have an idea of how much their home is worth, their vehicles, jewelry, and any other assets the couple may have together. If a spouse came into the marriage with a certain amount of money or assets, it is important to know that as well.
Secondly, a spouse should understand what the household bills are each month. It is important to understand what the mortgage rate on the house is, how much it costs for power, gas, water, sewer, etc. One should have an know how much their cell phone bill is, how much they spend in groceries each month, and any costs the children have. It is important to separate bills into “necessary” expenses, and “other” expenses such as clothing, entertainment, etc. As Nevada is a community property state, making these lists will accomplish a number of goals. One, it will give one an idea of what assets would be divided during a divorce. It will also give a spouse an idea of if they could afford to stay in their current home once the divorce goes through and their income is reduced. By looking at one’s financial portfolio, one can prepare themselves for what changes will be necessary, if any, following a divorce.
Spouses should make a list of any and all debts that the union owes
Like assets, debts are also split by the community. It is important for a spouse to understand what debts each partner owes, both individually and together. One should know how much the community owes on the house, on the cars, and in credit card debt. It is also important to know how much each person’s student loans are, any medical bill debt that exists, and any other debt that either individual has. If a partner came into the marriage with a debt, it is possible that the other partner will not have to pay. However, most debts will be equally divided just like community assets. If one partner is an excessive spender, and has a great deal of debt in their individual name, it is important to discuss this issue with your attorney.
Coming to terms with one’s financial portfolio is often an unpleasant but necessary part of divorce. Too often, a spouse is shocked to learn that their financial picture is not as stable as they had originally thought. Divorce brings any financial issues to light and it is important to become aware of any problems early. If you are filing for divorce and have questions about issues in your marriage’s finances, it is important to discuss these concerns with an attorney. Contact our Las Vegas office today for a consultation.