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Overlooking financial details can be costly in divorce

For Florida couples whose marriages are coming to an end, financial matters are often among the most important. Having a qualified attorney and a financial adviser can help prevent an imbalance of power and ensure important issues do not go overlooked, but individuals are their own best advocates in many cases. There are a few things that parties to a divorce can do to make sure they're covering themselves with regard to assets.

Purchasing a life insurance policy to cover an ex-spouse is a good idea, for example, in cases where an ex is paying support. For many people after divorce, alimony and child support payments become an important source of income. A life insurance policy can protect the party receiving support as well as his or her children in the event that the payer dies.

In negotiating property division, the parties should consider not only the immediate value of any assets, but also the tax consequences associated with them. A 401(k) plan with a value of $100,000, for example, may in reality be worth far less than a bank account with $100,000 in it, as withdrawals from the former may be taxed as income. If there is a 401(k) plan, it is important to secure a qualified domestic relations order from the court. A QDRO must be approved by the retirement plan administrator as well as the court, and may allow the withdrawal of 401(k) funds without the usual 10 percent penalty.

In a case where a Florida couple is getting divorced, an attorney may be able to help by gathering evidence in preparation for hearings or identifying the assets and liabilities of the parties. An attorney who works with a Venice, Florida, property division law firm may be able to negotiate a property division settlement so that lengthy and expensive litigation can be avoided.

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