Financial protection is one of the biggest worries many of our clients
face when divorcing. Divorce can potentially place an undeniable amount
of financial burden on both parties, especially if it is a highly contentious
divorce. However, even in the most amicable divorces, one should stay
smart and ensure financial protection to help build a new and happy future.
Make decisions with an eye toward the future. At first, much of the financial stress divorce brings occurs when first
separating from your spouse and dealing with separating your financial
lives during the divorce process. It can be easy to make decisions that
meet your immediate needs, but may not be the best decision for your financial
future five or ten years down the road. For instance, it may not be in
your best interest to try and keep your family home if keeping up with
the mortgage may prove to be a financial hardship down the road, even
if it allows you to stay in your home during the divorce.
Become familiar with a QDRO. The Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is a court document used
to divide qualified retirement plans. While you should hire a skilled
attorney to handle this, it would do individuals some good to also have
an understanding of this important tool that will ultimately help protect
their pension or 401(k) plan.
Change your beneficiaries. Divorce typically nullifies outstanding wills, but people often forget
to change the beneficiaries of their retirement plans, life insurance,
or other benefits. Is your former spouse the beneficiary of your plan?
Use a financial planner. A financial planner can work with your attorney to not only educate you
on your options, but create a plan that best suits and protects your interests.
Having skilled experts at your side is some of the best protection you
can provide for yourself.
Ask about financial issues when hiring an attorney. Find a divorce lawyer with experience and knowledge in the financial issues
that will come up in your divorce. If you have assets such as business
interests, investments, international assets, or other significant assets,
your attorney should be well versed in complex property division issues.
Oregon is an equitable distribution state, which means property acquired
by either spouse during marriage is marital property and subject to division,
including the marital home, vehicles, insurance, and work benefits. However,
equitable property division does not mean it has to be a 50-50 split,
which is why skilled representation is crucial for achieving fair results.
McKinley Irvin has handled numerous financially complex divorce cases
with outstanding results. Our Portland divorce lawyers can protect your
interests in the division of your marital property and protect your separate
property from being wrongfully distributed in divorce. Contact our Portland
office at (503) 395-0244.