Marriage Separation Questions

Jodee Redmond
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When you have marriage separation questions, where do you turn? There are a number of experts who can help you understand things that don't make sense or give you the facts you need to make good decisions.

Getting Help With Marriage Separation Questions

If you need help understanding legal issues involved in ending a marriage, turn to your lawyer for help and advice. He or she is well versed in the law of the jurisdiction where you live and can explain general legal concepts, as well as explain how the law applies to your situation.

Friends and family may be well-meaning when they share their experiences or offer advice, but the truth is that each divorce is different. Depending on the length of time the couple was married, where they live, and the assets they accumulated during the marriage; the divorce settlement will be unique to them.

For example, not everyone who gets a divorce is awarded financial support from his or her former spouse. The question of whether to award alimony and for how long, is left up to a judge to decide. A lawyer can explain the process and what is likely to happen, given the circumstances of the case.

Limitations to Where a Lawyer Can Help

Keep in mind that a lawyer is trained to offer legal advice to his or her clients. People who have marriage separation questions that fall outside of his or her scope of expertise should seek help from other experts. If you aren't sure who you should be talking to, don't hesitate to ask your lawyer for the name of an accountant, business valuator or a therapist.

Advice From an Accountant

When the time comes to divide up a couple's financial assets, it makes sense for each person to understand the possible tax implications of doing so. For example, when the funds in a retirement account are being divided, it may not be to the other spouse's advantage to take the payout in cash. Instead, it might be more advantageous to transfer a portion of the funds from one spouse's retirement account directly to the retirement account in the other person's name.

If the payout is made in cash, the funds may be subject to income tax immediately, even if they are eventually placed in a retirement account by the recipient. An accountant can consider the situation and offer the appropriate tax advice so that one spouse doesn't end up losing a considerable portion of his or her settlement because of income tax liability.

Business Valuator

In a situation where one or both spouses own a business, the company's value must be established when determining how to divide the marital property. A business valuator has the expertise to go through the business records to determine the company's value. The company's receivables and inventory must be included in the calculations.

Therapist

It's normal for a person to feel hurt and angry when going through a divorce. While it may be tempting to look to your lawyer for a friendly ear when things are difficult, a better choice is to find a good therapist. The lawyer may be sympathetic, but the therapist is trained to help his or her clients consider their options and move forward emotionally.

How to Find an Expert to Help

When you are looking for answers to marriage separation questions, you can ask friends or family members if they can recommend someone. If you don't feel comfortable approaching the accountant that you and your spouse were dealing with before the separation, you can always ask him or her for a referral. Your lawyer or accountant will be able to give you the name of a business valuator if you need one.

To get the best possible answers to your marriage separation questions, find someone who can give you the facts. Then you can make the right decisions for your situation.

Marriage Separation Questions