Dealing with Financial Matters in Divorce

December 14, 2015  |  Elizabeth A. Schading

Divorce can be complicated – especially when it comes to financial matters. Even couples who are otherwise cooperative on other issues may  find themselves at odds when dividing assets.
Numerous things can prevent a couple from coming to an agreement on financial matters and ensuring that each party is satisfied.  A complex financial portfolio, valuable collectibles, business ownership interests and other assets can make it more challenging to settle financial disputes in a divorce.
In some cases, a spouse will delay the process by taking a while to provide financial information. Further delays can be caused by unorganized or poorly-prepared paperwork.
One way to overcome complex financial issues is a Financial Early Neutral Evaluation, or FENE. This evaluation is held with either an accountant who has extensive knowledge of property issues, or a skilled attorney.
Evaluators generally have extensive experience working with the local court system, and will be realistically evaluate how property issues will likely be decided. While an evaluator can’t know for sure how a judge will decide, he or she can help you determine which property would likely be considered marital and non-marital. In addition, an evaluator can provide you with alternative options for handling pay-outs, like the division of 401K and spousal maintenance.
Bringing in a third party to help couples with complex financial matters can make a divorce less stressful and timely. Aside from child custody matters, financial issues are the most complex and important aspects of a divorce. It’s not always easy to make sense of a couple’s financial situation, and ensuring that everyone gets his or her fair share can be a challenge. An evaluator can make the process less frustrating and complicated by thoroughly reviewing all of the available information and offering qualified recommendations on how to proceed.
If you’re going through a divorce and are having difficulty settling your financial matters, ask your family law attorney about the possibility of a Financial Early Neutral Evaluation.