Positioning yourself for financial success post-divorce is going to take a lot of work. You’ll need to carefully think through which marital assets are in play and how best to argue for an outcome that is fair and favorable. But the property division process is a mystery to many Montana residents, especially those who have never been divorced before. That’s why we hope these tips will help set you on the path to successful property division negotiation or litigation, which will hopefully allow you to start the next chapter of your life on stable financial footing.
- Make sure that you’re identifying all marital assets: Montana is an equitable distribution This means that your marital assets will be divided in a fashion that is fair, although the outcome isn’t always equal. But in order to ensure that you recover your fair share of the marital estate, you need to make sure that you’re looping all marital assets into the process. If you miss something, you might lose access to those assets forever. So, be diligent in analyzing financial statements and locating pieces of personal property.
- Don’t expect your spouse to be honest: Although you certainly hope that your spouse will be upfront about marital assets, their income, and any existing debts, you shouldn’t just take their word for it on those issues. Instead, you need to verify and make sure that your spouse is being honest. After all, your spouse might try to hide assets, minimize the perception of their income, and inflate debt in order to manipulate the property division and spousal support determination processes to their advantage.
- Reconsider the family residence: A lot of people who get divorced want to fight for the family property. Although this real estate can be quite valuable and carry a significant amount of sentimental value, it can also be expensive to maintain. If you retain the property, you might be tasked with paying the mortgage, making repairs, and keeping up the property on your sole income. This can prove rather burdensome, and it might threaten to throw you into financial disarray. Therefore, you should think twice before accepting the family property in exchange for other marital assets.
- Think about the long-term: We understand that you’re going to need some immediate financial relief in the aftermath of your marriage dissolution. However, you can’t let the immediacy of your situation affect your ability to identify your long-term financial needs. With that in mind, you’ll want to pay careful attention to assets such as retirement accounts and pensions.
- Strike the right tone: Remember, a lot of divorces end up resolving without the need for litigation. But if you want to convince your spouse to agree to your proposed division plan, you probably want to avoid being overly aggressive during negotiations. Therefore, you might want to think about how you can approach property division in a firm yet respectful manner.
Do you need an attorney on your side?
You’ve got a lot to think about as you navigate your divorce. In order to protect your interests as fully as possible, you’re going to need to know the law and how to negotiate and litigate in light of the law and in a way that is favorable to your position. That can be an overwhelming thought, but don’t worry. You can have an experienced attorney on your side every step of the way.