In this installment of Behind The Numbers, IAG Forensics & Valuation founder Laurie Dyke shares some insight into Understanding the Differences in Divorce from State to State.
Hi I’m Lori Dyke the founding partner of IAG Forensics & Valuation. Welcome to another session of Behind The Numbers. Today I’ll be talking about differences between states of valuing assets for property division and determining alimony and child support for divorce.
I’m not an attorney and nothing in this presentation is intended as legal advice. Property division alimony and child support rules are determined on a state-by-state basis there are often similarities between the states on some issues but very often there are significant differences.
IAG is based in Georgia but we’re available to work across the country and we’ve worked on divorces in a number of different States including Alabama, Florida, South Carolina Missouri and Kansas. Some of the methodology and timing of determining Financial issues in a divorce is defined by Statute which is a written law passed by the legislative body of the state but much of the
guidance about determination of financial issues is standing case law which are decisions made by a Judicial body in the state.
Generally, in order to have case law parties go to court the trial judge or jury makes decisions and issues an order and then the order is appealed to a higher Court which renders an opinion about
whether the trial court made errors in making its decision. That opinion then becomes part of the body of case law in the state. Most divorces are settled outside of Court most of the cases that go to trial are never appealed so the percentage of cases that become part of the body of case law are very small compared to the total divorces in the state.
As Financial professionals it’s very important for us to gain an understanding of the case law as well as the statutes in each state where we’re doing our divorce financial analysis. For example, some states utilize community property states and others are equitable division states. The definition of separate property differs state by state. Some states have adopted certain specific preferred tracing methodologies and some have not. Some states divide all assets as of the date of divorce. Some as of the data separation. Some is that the data divorce except for retirement asset which are divided as of the data separation. Some states require tax affecting all assets on the marital balance sheet and some states prohibited. Some states have formulas for determining alimony and some do not. Most states use some sort of income shares model for calculating child support but the calculator and the economic tables are different.
Please reach out to us if we can help with Discovery financial analysis settlement negotiations or expert witness Services wherever you may be located. Tis is Lori Dyke with IAG Forensics & Valuation and this has been another session of behind the numbers.
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