Save Your Divorce, Part Two

Save Your Divorce, Part Two

Beware of sudden missing jewelry and other valuables: Jewelry, collectibles, and other small valuables sometimes go missing immediately before or during the divorce process. Of course, both spouses deny knowing where these items have gone.

Solution: Move all of your jewelry and other small valuables out of your home if you suspect a divorce proceeding is imminent. Store them in a bank safe-deposit box or in the home of a trusted friend.

Your spouse’s gambling losses can be a “hidden asset.” If, before the filing of the divorce papers, your spouse confesses to gambling losses or maybe they have thousands in gambling chips stashed away.

Solution: Tell your divorce attorney about any recent gambling trips or gambling losses by your spouse. There are ways for them to get records for casino chip purchases and other ways to get your share of the assets.

I would bet that you will grieve over the divorce. Even if your marriage has been on the rocks, you will probably endure considerable grief. This grief can cause people to make emotional, critical decisions that can be very costly… perhaps acceptable an unfavorable settlement to end the pain of the divorce process.

Solution: See a therapist who specializes in marital issues or in dealing with grief. Not only should this help you avoid making bad grief-driven decisions, it also makes it less likely that you will discuss your emotions with your divorce attorney or make bad emotional decisions. Frankly, divorce attorneys typically charge more per hour than a therapist and don’t usually make good therapists. Also, getting some good therapy will help prevent you from venting your anger at your spouse, which could reduce any emotional fallout for your kids.

Watch out for alimony. If you get a divorce this year and are required to pay alimony, you can deduct the alimony not only this year but in future years. Sadly, as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, if the divorce decree occurs next year and you must pay alimony, it is no longer deductible. Thus, alimony awarded in future years can be very expensive. It is one of the worst – and least talked about – aspects of the new law. 

Solution: If you are contemplating a divorce where alimony is likely (such as having a non-working spouse), consider rushing to get it finished this year. If you wait till next year, try to avoid alimony by giving a larger property settlement.

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