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Consider future events while dividing your assets

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2020 | Family Law

While conducting divorces, the state of Virginia splits assets between the spouses based upon the principle of equitable division. This means that while a judge may not divide up assets equally, the judge will seek to split them in a fair manner. However, during the property division process, a couple might make a crucial mistake if they focus only on their present life circumstances without considering what their lives will be like years down the road. 

As explained on the WTOP website, divorcing spouses may focus only on their current situation as they negotiate the division of their assets. In doing so, they may ignore what might happen after the divorce is complete. For example, while the spouses may be in good physical health at the moment, events can happen to change that, perhaps even dramatically. 

Possible unexpected life events can include a serious illness, a car crash, or a physical assault. Any of these eventualities could seriously degrade the health of one or both of the spouses. Such a dramatic event likely means a spouse may have to pay out money in medical bills, insurance premiums, auto repair bills, anything associated with a sickness or injury. 

Other life events can upend the status quo of a divorcing couple. Following a divorce, one or both of the spouses may work at their jobs for a few years and then, out of the blue, their bosses suddenly fire them. Children may suddenly experience a dire medical need. Assets that once contained great value might depreciate. Each or both of the spouses may incur a lot of debt. 

So when it comes time to negotiate a division of assets, it might help to plan for worst case scenarios. Some people hire financial advisers to look at future events, such as declining financial fortunes, and also to provide ways to mitigate financial risks. Spouses may include language in their settlements to address possible scenarios. Taking out insurance policies is another option. Working out these issues early on may also speed up the settlement process and possibly prevent the need to revise the settlement at a later date.