People in California who are getting a divorce and who share a team of financial professionals with a spouse might want to consider working with a new team. This may be particularly helpful for a person who is a dependent spouse since the professionals likely have their primary relationship with the higher-earning spouse.
First, a divorcing individual might want a new financial adviser. This adviser can help a person make decisions that will help financially after the divorce. For example, a financial adviser may help assess whether keeping the home in divorce is affordable. The financial adviser can also help ensure that the divorce agreement is followed and that the person takes any necessary steps to cut ties with the ex-spouse.
An accountant can help identify whether the other spouse is hiding assets. The accountant may also be able to help a person understand how to more accurately compare assets. For example, cash and stock that have the same value may not be worth the same amount. There may be taxes and other expenses associated with the stock.
Finally, a person might want to work with an estate lawyer. This attorney may help the person produce a revised will and powers of attorney.
Dividing marital property can be a complicated element of divorce. In California, a community property state, all marital property is supposed to be divided equally, but couples are able to negotiate property splits that are not exactly 50/50. For example, dividing a 401(k) requires a costly and complicated document called a qualified domestic relations order. If there is another asset that has roughly an equal value to the person's share of the retirement account, the couple might agree that the person will take that asset instead. Negotiating a divorce agreement instead of going to court may allow a couple more flexibility.