Taking control of financial matters during the divorce process

Taking control of financial matters during the divorce process

34753189_S.jpgFor anyone who is planning to file for divorce or was recently informed by a spouse of a divorce filing, concerns related to finances and maintaining your lifestyle are often top-of-mind. Fears about being left destitute after a divorce are often especially prevalent among individuals who, during a marriage, allowed a husband or wife to manage household finances.

While anyone who is starting the divorce process is likely to experience a range of strong, confusing and conflicting emotions; it’s crucial to take steps to gain a clear picture of your current financial situation as well as plan for your post-divorce financial success. To start, an individual must know where they currently stand. Again, if you didn’t handle finances during a marriage, attempting to access and make sense of financial matters can be intimidating.

To start, up-to-date financial information related to the following types of assets and liabilities should be compiled:

• checking and savings accounts
• investment accounts
• retirement accounts
• mortgage statements
• insurance policies
• tax returns
• credit card statements

These documents can help you gain an understanding of where you currently stand financially. What are your total assets and how are these assets offset by liabilities and debts that were accrued during the course of a marriage? Once you understand this bigger picture of total assets and liabilities, this information can be referenced during the divorce settlement process.

There are numerous factors that must be taken into account when negotiating a divorce settlement. For example, at face value a 35-year-old mother of three young children may believe that it’s in her best interest to fight to stay in the $500,000 family home and allow her husband to keep all of his retirement assets. In reality, however, a family home’s market share value may be far less than is noted in an outdated appraisal and attempting to stay in a home may end up being more costly than one anticipates.

When it comes to divorce and valuing and dividing assets, a divorce attorney can provide valuable advice, insight and assistance to help ensure that you receive your fair share of marital assets and can walk away from a divorce financially secure.

Source: The Huffington Post, “7 Financial Tips for Women Facing Divorce,” Jennifer Leighton, Dec. 1, 2015

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