Have you been putting off getting a legal divorce from your estranged spouse? While divorce is almost never easy and can be even more complicated when you no longer have contact with your spouse, you have many reasons to go to the trouble. Here are just a few of the most important financial reasons.
1. Your Spouse Manages Marital Assets. Assets obtained or used during your marriage are generally part of shared assets that you and your spouse would divide during a divorce. That means the assets they have control of are being managed outside your control even though you have a legal right to some of them. If your spouse mismanages assets (such as investments) you could lose out on a lot of money.
2. Your Spouse Can Hide Assets. The longer you and your spouse have no contact, the more likely it is that you won't know the true state of their finances. They may move assets to new accounts you aren't aware of, hide physical assets, or hide their income level. The smart move is to avoid giving your soon-to-be ex any extra time to be devious.
3. Your Spouse's Financial Status Can Change. Everyone's financial picture can change suddenly — either for better or for worse. If your spouse loses their job, suffers a downturn in their health, or has a natural disaster, income and available assets might dry up quickly. While this isn't very good for them, it may be bad for you as well because it means lower support payments and reduced marital assets to divide.
4. You Could Use the Money. Many spouses who have to go it on their own see their own finances seriously damaged. If you're raising kids on your own, have had to move since your estrangement, or had to start over with setting up a home and lifestyle, you need the money provided through the division of marital assets. Even if your divorce won't produce a huge financial boon, it could leave you better off right now.
5. Your Finances Are Still Linked. While your lives don't seem very linked, your finances could still be linked legally speaking. If your spouse gets into any trouble involving their money, creditors and agencies may have the ability to go after yours. If your spouse files a fraudulent tax return, for example, or gets into legal trouble involving a jointly-owned bank account, you could see your own money seized.
Which of these financial consequences could cause damage to your own situation? No matter whether your worry is your divorce settlement value, possible illegal behavior, or your current financial needs, a divorce is the surest way to resolve the problem. Learn more by consulting with a divorce lawyer in your area today.