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Baseball, hotdogs, applie pie and... marital assets?

That's not quite how the age old jingle ends, but the two phrases do have something in common. The old Chevrolet commercial lyrics speak of spring time and one of America's greatest pastimes: baseball. The latter, however, refers to marital breakup and property division. In case Washington readers are still wondering what marital assets and baseball have in common, it's timing.

Baseball teams launch into gear in the springtime, when the season opens, and many people filing for divorce "launch" their plans in springtime as well. Who knows how many ball fans are sitting in their prime stadium seats worried whether their spouses are going to leave them financially ruined in divorce? Just as coaches often tell their players that focusing on the fundamentals and practicing basic skills helps build great baseball players, so too can many divorce problems be avoided by thinking and planning ahead.

One way to prevent financial problems after divorce is to maintain a high credit score during marriage. Keeping up on payments at all times increases the likelihood of securing future credit when needed. Also, many advisers say it's best to collect at least five years' worth of financial data in order to clearly assess one's marital assets.

Washington happens to be one of only nine community property states in the nation. All others are equitable distribution states. What this means to those divorcing in other states is that the court will determine how marital assets will be divided and the split will not necessarily be 50/50. Marital property in this and the other eight community property states, however, is divided equally. An experienced family law attorney can be a tremendous source of support if, alongside season baseball tickets, a person is also shopping for divorce assistance.

Source: startribune.com, "Don't let divorce season upend your finances", Kevin Voigt, April 1, 2017

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