divorce and charitable division attorney Alabama

Divorce and Philanthropy: How to Handle Shared Charitable Endeavors

Ending a marriage is not just about making custody decisions and splitting up the assets you’ve accumulated during your time together. It also involves determining the future of the legacy you and your ex-partner have created. This is particularly important for philanthropic couples that have made charitable giving a big part of their time together.

Determining the future of your charitable endeavors and projects is a crucial part of your divorce. Learn more about your options and next steps now by calling Kirk Drennan Law at 205-953-1424 to set up a time to talk to our team.


Assessing Charitable Assets and Commitments

As you begin working through this part of your divorce, be ready to make some tough decisions that may impact the future of your charity projects and goals. Couples that are an active part of philanthropy in their community have to decide how to split up their assets and continue to fulfill their commitments after their split. You’ll need to start by figuring out the extent of your charitable commitments, including:

  • The extent of your previous charitable contributions and financial commitments you have made to different organizations.
  • Any charitable foundations created in your name, the foundation’s assets, and who will continue to play an active role in the organization and its future growth post-divorce.
  • Volunteer commitments made by one or both parties; determinations regarding who will fulfill these commitments and maintain connections with specific organizations may be an important topic for some couples.


Your Philanthropic Goals and Obligations

Before you agree to how you’ll handle charitable assets during your divorce, it’s important that each spouse spend some time thinking about how they want to continue their legacy of giving after divorce. There are no right answers here; while some may want to continue working for the same causes or even ramp up their giving, others may choose to take a temporary or permanent step away from philanthropy while they acclimate to single life.

Factors to consider include:

  • The shared values that drove you to philanthropy as a couple and whether you want to maintain those same values after your divorce.
  • Whether you want to explore new causes after your divorce.
  • Making future contributions to current causes or changing your role within the charitable community you currently serve.
  • Whether both parties are comfortable continuing to work for the same causes or if both parties would be more comfortable with some space.

These can be difficult topics to address. It is important to remember that even though you and your spouse are divorcing, you both had (and perhaps still have) a deep connection to these issues and charities. By working through these topics in a calm and respectful way, you benefit both yourselves and the causes you love.


Philanthropic Settlement Agreements

A philanthropic settlement agreement can outline the division of charitable assets and commitments. Your agreement may include the division of assets that currently benefit charitable causes. For example, if you hold cash, stocks, or real estate that is used for charitable purposes, you’ll need to decide who retains ownership of those assets.

If you and your spouse own a charitable foundation, your settlement agreement should address how the foundation will be handled after your divorce. New trustees may be appointed, both parties may maintain a leading role in the organization, or one party may take a step away to get some space or explore new endeavors.

If both parties have charitable commitments, such as volunteer hours or financial donations, your agreement should specify who will take on those commitments or if they will be divided between the spouses.

Don’t forget to consider the tax implications of charitable giving and how a divorce may affect your taxes. Your attorney may explain how different settlement options will impact your taxes and which solutions are best for your financial and charitable goals.


Find Out How Kirk Drennan Law Can Help You with Your Divorce

At Kirk Drennan Law, we understand how painful and confusing divorce can be. Our priority is to help you walk away with what you need for a fresh start. Set up your free consultation with our team of Birmingham divorce lawyers now by calling us at 205-953-1424 or sending us a message online.

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