Long-term separations may impact the division of marital assets

Many Utah couples already know that marriages aren't built overnight. Unfortunately, neither are divorces. It may take months or even years to settle on details such as the division of marital assets and financial responsibilities. Without a well thought out plan and a formal legal agreement, the divorce could potentially drag out for years.

One thing to consider when separating is to determine how long it will take to finalize the divorce -- should someone wish to take that last step. The longer the separation continues, the harder it may be to assure or track down all known marital assets. One or both parties in the marriage may choose to hide assets or to try and dodge their responsibilities altogether. A spouse may have secret bank accounts or go so far as to leave the state or even the country. Further, as long a s a couple is separated, the parties are still financially linked if one party gets into financial trouble.

When it comes to the payment of spousal support, it might help to act quickly. Many things can change the financial standing and the ability to pay over time. For instance, problems may arise if the spouse loses his or her job or somehow becomes disabled. In addition, the laws in our state may change with regard to alimony.

No one wishes divorce proceedings on anyone they know or love. However, if this is the path the parties end up taking, it is typically crucial to make smart decisions based upon an understanding of applicable laws and local court procedures. Many Utah couples confronting these important issues already know that our state has procedures set up for couples who wish to dissolve their marriage and divide their marital assets in a fair and comprehensive settlement.

Source: Forbes, Putting Off Divorce? Ten Ways Long-term Separations Can Do Women More Harm Than Good, Jeff Landers, Oct. 3, 2013

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