When a couple separates and ultimately divorces, a large part of what needs to be addressed is the financial circumstances of the parties. People make certain assumptions about what will happen financially, many of which are not accurate. Some common misconceptions and consequent problems to be avoided are as follows:
- Assume the status quo will remain the same.
- Money that exists in certain accounts today will be there tomorrow.
- Credit cards will continue to be available for use.
- Direct deposits of monies into bank accounts will not be changed.
- My spouse will continue to make mortgage payments on the marital home.
- My spouse will pay my legal fees.
- Because my name is on a particular account and not my spouse’s, my spouse has no entitlement to those funds.
- Paying off items more quickly and acquiring additional equity is beneficial to me.
- Purchases I make after separation but before divorce belong to me.
The theme of all the above misconceptions is that there will be financial status quo. A separation causes people to become fearful. What will happen economically in the future is suddenly an unknown. When people are fearful of the unknown they move money, limit credit access, attempt to amass financial assets and/or limit the other party’s access to assets. One should be aware of the fact that status quo is not ensured to anyone unless there is a written agreement or Court Order to that effect.
Divorce is expensive for both parties; it often costs more to live on your own than to live together. Consequently, divorcing parties should consider economic issues even before a separation might occur.
Linda Sorg Ostovitz can help you understand your financial responsibilities within the marriage and help you avoid financial mistakes in a divorce. Contact me for a consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone (301) 575-0381.
ABOUT LINDA SORG OSTOVITZ
Linda Sorg Ostovitz is a family law attorney. Her legal experience spans more than 34 years. In this time, she has served as a leader, educator and advocate. Mrs. Ostovitz holds a prestigious fellowship in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Currently, she serves as President for the Business Women’s Network of Howard County, by which she was chosen Woman of Distinction for 2014. Mrs. Ostovitz represents clients in Howard, Anne Arundel, Carroll and Baltimore Counties. Her practice focuses exclusively on divorce litigation and mediation, child custody and access, child support, alimony, business valuation, as well as property and asset distribution. In addition to providing legal representation in court, Mrs. Ostovitz provides mediation services to help families come to a fair and legally-sound conclusion outside of the traditional court proceedings.
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