Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law

Key financial considerations with family law and divorce in Utah

Utah couples that are divorcing inevitably face the emotional and personal issues that accompany this difficult decision. With that, it is possible that family legal issues, property division and other factors that might be in dispute will be shepherded to the background. This is a mistake that a vast proportion of people make. Finances should never be ignored during dissolution. There are certain aspects to take into consideration and account for, whether it is a high asset divorce or one of more modest means or whether it is a young couple, an older couple or one in between.

Many people might try to save money and avoid getting the necessary assistance to sift through family legal issues in a divorce. This is a mistake. Since divorce is frequently the culmination of a variety of disagreements and matters in dispute, the rush to get the process over with often lends itself to mistakes. Financial advisors who were assisting the couple during the marriage will generally have to abstain from giving assistance during a divorce. Because of that, having assistance in moving forward is particularly important on an individual basis with the interests of the client in mind.

Support payments are generally part of the process, but if they suddenly end, it can be a major problem. Insurance can help to offset a loss of support with the supporting spouse ordered to maintain the premiums as part of the settlement. Assets that were part of the marriage might be up for grabs in the divorce. With property division, there could be sentimental value or financial value. Trying to come to an equitable settlement might require letting certain assets go in exchange for others that are better for the future. A family home might be desired by one spouse, but such factors as payments and upkeep could render it impractical.

Taxes are sometimes ignored in a divorce. This could have to do with a retirement account that is protected from various taxes and how it might be harmful to the financial portfolio if it is closed or there are withdrawals on it. Finally, many people are not prepared to deal with the lifestyle change of being newly single. That does not imply that there will be ostentatious purchases to foment a new way of living, but that there will be costs that were previously left unconsidered.

For those who are divorcing, it is imperative to have a grasp on these family law matters. Speaking to an attorney is a key for protection and pursuing an acceptable outcome.

Source: CNBC, "Headed for divorce court? Here are your top 5 financial musts," Andrew Osterland, Dec. 22, 2016

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