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Don't let divorce financially destroy you

While your soon-to-be ex might have promised to endow all of his or her worldly goods to you during your wedding vows, that sentiment has a way of changing during a divorce. Some spouses act as though they want nothing more than to destroy you financially.

In most divorces, each spouse's finances do suffer; however, knowing how to limit your losses is paramount to your financial security. Here are some tips to keep your spouse from devastating you financially:

-- Know your finances: The first thing you should do when you are even considering a divorce or feel as though one might be imminent is to make copies of important documents related to your finances. This includes bank statements, tax returns, pension account statements and more. You should be aware of where your money and assets are, too. You may have to get some assets, such as a business, valued.

-- Understand your finances: Just because you know that you have a balance of $14,000 in your retirement account doesn't mean you know how it works. Know what goes into it each month, what the penalties are for early withdrawals and how much you should receive in a divorce. Learn how to follow a budget, understand health and life insurance basics and know how much your home is worth.

-- Know how much debt you have: Get a current copy of your credit report. Know which, if any, debts are only in your name. Understand that if your spouse is supposed to pay off a credit card per the divorce decree and doesn't that your credit will be affected as well.

-- Retain a good divorce lawyer: If you and your spouse can resolve many issues without litigation, do so. However, if you have to fight for every asset you get, you're going to need an experienced attorney at your side. It's too late after the divorce to decide that you should have hired a Pennsylvania lawyer.

These are just a few things you should do in order to save your finances. You can speak with your attorney to learn more about your assets, debts and other financial issues that will arise during a divorce.

Source: Huffington Post, "8 Tips to Keep From Being Taken Advantage of Financially in Divorce," Karen Covy, Jan. 29, 2016

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