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What financial preparations are necessary for divorce?

One household and shared assets divided by two unhappy spouses frequently equals financial problems. Divorce deals a one-two punch. The end of a marriage can place parties in a highly-emotional state and often has a negative effect upon individual finances.

As many Pottstown spouses realize, sometimes after a divorce is finalized, emotional upheaval is not conducive to making sound financial decisions. That's why some divorcing spouses depend upon the advice of objective mental health experts, financial advisers and family law attorneys. A spouse may be vulnerable to unpleasant financial consequences without one or more of these professionals to provide guidance.

A divorce is more than an emotional transition. The terms of a divorce settlement are likely to impact former spouses for years to come, particularly when legal issues involve children.

Property division isn't simply a matter of splitting assets in half. Property must be counted, valued and divided fairly according to Pennsylvania equitable distribution laws. An attorney can explain the options spouses have to divvy up assets, income, liability and debt without taking the matter before a judge.

The parties must make a full financial disclosure of separate and marital property, through records like tax returns and account statements, before any financial agreement is negotiated and signed. A careful review of these documents sometimes shows that a spouse anticipating divorce tried to conceal assets.

Set the foundation for a separate financial future by working to establish creditworthiness. Open a credit card account. A credit score will increase based upon responsible use of credit.

Prepare to cope with a post-divorce budget that is probably going to be tighter than the budget you once had. As the same time, make sure you revise beneficiary designations, your will and other estate planning documents to reflect the change in marital status. Attorneys can offer valuable advice about negotiating a divorce settlement that is beneficial to your long-term interests.

Source: U.S. News and World Report, "7 Financial Steps to Take When Getting a Divorce," Maryalene LaPonsie, Aug. 07, 2015

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