Our law firm created the acronym I.C.E.D. – T, to reach a settlement and avoid a trial.
It is imperative to be properly prepared for negotiations that the client with the attorney segregate their assets and liabilities by utilizing I.C.E.D. – T.
Identify- your assets and liabilities held by you and your spouse;
Classify- these assets as “marital” or “separate.” Separate assets may be an inheritance, negligence recoveries and gifts from someone other than your spouse;
Evaluate – with the help of appraisers, accountants, economists, and business evaluators, the dollar value of the assets to be distributed;
Distribute – your joint assets (real property, investment accounts, personal property, retirement accounts) as well as your liabilities (mortgages, credit card debts, personal loans, automobile loans, etc.). The equitable distribution will be negotiated by you and your spouse and legal counsel and a Property Settlement Agreement will be drafted and executed or, failing that, determined by the court; and
The Tax Impact- on the distribution of assets will need to be provided by an accountant to maximize the tax regulations affecting the distribution.