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Financial planning for a divorce?

Like most things in life, planning can help your divorce. No, we are not suggesting that you should plan to get divorced. However, if you are certain your marriage relationship is failing, and you are considering the prospect of a divorce, doing some financial homework before you file can significantly ease many of the complex elements of your property division.

The dividing of your marital property is a very important part of your divorce. Which assets your receive and their form and timing can all have a long-lasting impact on your financial condition after your divorce agreement is final.

Understanding your household finances prior to your divorce is essential. You want to know where all of your bank, investment and retirement accounts are and their balances, what loans or mortgages are outstanding, all of your credit cards and any real estate that you own.

Copies of all of this information will both make the discussion of the property division intelligible for you and will allow your attorney or accountant to look for discrepancies. If income and expenditures don't match, there is possible that your spouse could be hiding assets or income.

It is also important to be financially prepared for what happens after the filing. If you have to move out, do you have ready cash to cover your necessary living expenses. And you will also need to be able to pay your attorneys and other professionals, if necessary.

Any divorce is emotional, and that can interfere with making correct decisions. Economic decisions must be rational and cost effective. You attorney can help prevent emotions from overwhelming what makes financial sense. This can help prevent your making decisions that you will cost you and that you will later regret.

Cbsnews.com, "6 money mistakes to avoid in a divorce," Gerri Detweiler/credit.com, January 21, 2015

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