There are very rigid rules that are followed in the divorce proceeding. These rules will help you understand exactly what to expect during the divorce process.
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What should I expect in the divorce process? Well, what you should expect is that there are very rigid rules that going to apply to following the court's case management orders. There's a rule called 16.2, and you'll probably hear that many, many times while you go through a divorce.
I often am asked the question, well, my husband and I have agreed to everything. We've agreed to how all the property's going to get divided, we've agreed to how the debts are going to be divided, and what do we need to do financials for? I'm gonna keep the business, and she's gonna walk away with our Mercedes Benz and our house. The answer to that question is that there is a law that requires the parties to engage in full financial disclosure before they can sign agreements.
There's even a law that says that if a party has omitted- either intentionally or negligently- from disclosing essential financial information, that that gives that party up to five years from the date that the divorce became final to come back to court and say, “I found out that I did not receive all the financial disclosures.” The significance of revealing all of your finances, and all the valuations of property that are in your case, is that parties should be on a level playing field. This is not smoke and mirrors. There shouldn't be any deception. Both parties should know as they're going through the divorce that they're being treated fairly, and that they know what the other party is disclosing, and they have backup to prove it.
Another case that I had involved classic cars, where classic cars were kept in a garage by one of the parties who was a collector car person. Wife really didn't know what kind of classic cars were in the garage. Well, if somebody is asking to get divorced, they should at least know whether or not they're entitled to any kind of a profit or earnings, or split of the value of something like classic cars. In that particular instance, what we did was we had an agreement that we would pick a well-known appraiser to go out and give us a value of those classic cars so that they either could be sold and the amount split, or the party that's keeping the classic cars would pay half of the value to the other party.
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