On a good day, negotiating a financial settlement is never without risks, mainly since you are required to speculate as to what your financial position will look like in the future. Now, with the coronavirus pandemic constantly changing what our daily life looks like and bringing a whole new level of uncertainty into our future, reaching a financial settlement has become increasingly more difficult and stressful. That is why during these unprecedented times, it is even more crucial to seek the advice of an experienced family law attorney to help mitigate some of the increased risks and guide you through this new norm of financial settlement negotiations.
What is a Financial Settlement and How Does it Work?
“Financial settlements” is a term that the courts use to explain what happens with the finances in a divorce. Basically, what it boils down to is who will get what? And in Massachusetts, financial settlements are required in all divorce proceedings. If the parties cannot reach an agreement, then the court will determine how assets should be divided. They will use Massachusetts laws to move the process along while considering all the circumstances of the case to make sure they distribute the assets as reasonably as possible. In order to achieve this objective, they will look into some key factors of the couple, including:
- Health, age, and where the individuals are in their life.
- Earning capacity, vocational skills, and employability.
- Needs and particular liabilities.
- Amount of income each has, and where the income is coming from.
- Opportunity for future acquisition of income and capital assets.
- Property and estate value.
- The standard of living each member enjoyed as a family before the marriage broke down.
- Length of the marriage.
What Problems Can the Coronavirus Cause Regarding These Financial Settlements?
These financial settlements involve a certain level of financial disclosure and speculation about the future. It therefore comes as no surprise that the coronavirus has caused a lot of problems to these settlements because of the uncertainty that this epidemic has caused. Some issues that individuals now have to face when reaching a financial settlement include the following:
- I am not sure if my job is secure; therefore, I am not sure what my income actually is and where it will be coming from in the future.
- If my marital wealth is held in stocks or market-based mutual funds, and I have experienced a substantial drop in the value of my assets, how will this affect what percent of the assets I am entitled to?
- How will I know the worth of my home when the value is so dependent on the property market, and the outlook right now is so unknown?
How Can a Massachusetts Family Law Attorney Help Me?
Now more than ever, it is imperative to discuss your legal issues with an experienced family law attorney. Whether you need help with your divorce, child custody issues, estate planning, or negotiating a financial settlement as a part of a divorce proceeding, your attorney can provide you with the legal framework you need to help you get the best possible outcome for your case. With the future so up in the air and no guaranteed end in sight, you need to speak to a knowledgeable professional that can help you secure your assets and finances and ensure that your rights are protected. This attorney can not only assist you with providing you with legal options that can strengthen your overall financial well-being, but can also help you with the following:
- Determine whether to defer financial settlement negotiations until there is a higher likelihood that valuations will be more reliable.
- Negotiate settlements by exploring financial strategies to protect your assets which better reflect the changing times and economy.
- Provide you with the detailed legal advice you need during this time, to make sure that you not only fully understand the consequences of any negotiated financial settlement, but also the best course of action you should take.
At the Law Office of Rachel M. Matos, we understand what a difficult and challenging time this is for you and your family. That is why our office is here to support you. You do not have to go through this legal process alone, contact our office today to discuss your case and legal options.