During the dissolution of marriage, it is essential that you consider the ramifications of any agreement, or court order for that matter, in good times and in bad. Not every dissolution of marriage is messy and expensive. Not every divorce is high conflict. But even in the situations when your parting ways may be on amicable terms now, there may be a time in the future when your relationship with your former spouse may be more stressed.
This is why, even in a peaceful dissolution of marriage, you have to be careful about the ramifications of your agreements several years down the road. This is somewhat foreseeable with children’s issues, such as parenting time and decision-making authority, but this realization is more often overlooked when addressing the financial issues of dissolution of marriage.
Negotiating Financial Agreements
Commonly, attorneys utilize standard language to effectuate the agreements of the parties when determining how to transfer title to vehicles or real property. The point of this discussion is that it is imperative that you consider not only what your financial plans are currently, but also what your financial plans may be in the future. For example, husband and wife are often jointly titled on their house and they are oftentimes also both liable for the mortgage. Upon a decree of dissolution of marriage, the husband will take the home, the wife will take the home, or the parties will place the home on the market and sell the home. There are benefits and detriments to each of these situations, but there is much to be considered in each of these situations too.
If the house is listed on the market for sale, what happens if the house does not sell? Does the agreement address how long the house will remain on the market? How is the listing price determined? What happens if one of the parties continues to reside in the home but does not maintain the home in a saleable condition? If the house is awarded to one or the other party, how long does that party have to refinance the property into their name alone? What happens if they cannot refinance the home? What happens if the party responsible party does not make the mortgage payments timely, and the home goes into foreclosure?
Divorcing parties cannot consider every possible scenario for every vehicle, and property and debt out there, but there are several methods and language which can be utilized to cover the most common problems that arise. Ultimately, the parties are the best suited to determine what problems are likely to arise and in the end, agree how to best protect their future interests by addressing these issues during the dissolution of marriage process and not waiting until it is too late.