The average couple going through a divorce only has to face the difficult task of dividing assets acquired during a marriage. Unfortunately, an already complicated situation can become even more problematic when one spouse is expecting to receive a settlement. Over the past few years, legal proceedings involving a pending settlement have started impacting divorce cases. Dealing with a pending settlement award during a divorce is not something that you should do alone, since any error could do a great deal of damage to the case you have built. Understanding how pending settlement awards affect a divorce can help anyone going through a divorce prepare for a situation that is notoriously hard to manage.

Tell Your Lawyer

It is crucial that you disclose the existence of the future asset to your attorney as soon as possible. Hiding assets during a divorce is not only a sure way to ruin your chances of getting the settlement you want, it can also cause a rift between you and your lawyer. Talking to your attorney about the settlement gives him or her an opportunity to review the situation and decide how you should proceed. The last thing your attorney wants to deal with is discovering the existence of your settlement in the middle of a court hearing. Even if you think the amount is negligible, your attorney still needs to know about it.

The Divorce May Take Longer

Divorce proceedings in Georgia that are contested can take a few months to resolve or several years. If a settlement that you or your spouse have not received yet is involved, then expect the divorce to take even longer. The type of settlement (medical condition, malpractice, etc.) can affect distribution since the party who is most affect by a medical condition will usually receive the majority of the settlement. When you and your spouse are required to split the settlement, your spouse may attempt to prove that you have no legal rights to the settlement, prolonging the entire process. Even if you and your spouse are willing to share the settlement, the court may need additional documentation that may force both parties to wait for a third party to provide them.

Custody Issues

There are times when the parents of a minor child may initiate a lawsuit on their child’s behalf.  If they win and obtain a settlement on behalf of the child, custody disputes can become extremely complex. Parents who are already unwilling to co-parent equally may be less than enthusiastic about the idea of sharing a joint bank account that contains their child’s settlement money. At that point, one or both parents may begin fighting for custody in the hopes that they will then have sole control over any future financial settlements the child receives.

Get Advice Early

Once you are sure that divorce is inevitable, obtain legal advice as soon as possible. When a large amount of money is involved, it becomes even more imperative to quickly find a division of property attorney who can protect your interests. The attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum are prepared to provide you with aggressive representation to protect your assets. Contact one of our conveniently located Atlanta, Georgia offices today to schedule an initial consultation.