A Better Divorce Is Possible

Divorce is a time of big changes but many fail to realize how certain financial matters can affect them for a long time. So that you don't suffer from making poor decisions, read below and take these measures.

Take an Assertive Attitude

Being emotional about a marriage break-up is natural. However, it's very unwise to allow emotions to control your decisions. It's unfortunately common for some to believe that they can best get through a divorce by pretending that they are not interested in property, debt, and more. In most cases, however, marital debt and property agreements cannot be easily changed later. Follow the below tips and get in the habit of looking out for your financial interests rather than expecting things to be magically okay.

Know About Debts

Marital debts include only those taken on after the date of the marriage. The way debts are divided depends on whether you live in a community property state or an equitable distribution state. Make a list of all debts for your divorce lawyer. Keep in mind that marital debts are not a standalone category – debt can be traded for property in a marital agreement.

Know About Property

Marital property includes everything attained during the marriage except for gifts and inheritances. Make a list of assets and don't forget to include financial accounts like banking and retirement. Decide what you want based not on sentimental attachment, but primarily on the value of the item today and in the future. For instance, real estate usually rises in value, but vehicles depreciate.

Take Protective Measures Early

Don't wait until it's too late to protect your assets and liabilities. Your spouse may go on a spending spree once you separate and that only adds to the marital debt situation. This can be stopped using injunctions, stays, and restraining orders during the separation period.

Ask for a full disclosure of financial matters from your spouse before they can make changes or hide assets. Consider also filing a QDRO during the separation time. Qualified domestic relations orders allow non-owning spouses to claim part of certain types of retirement plan funds without paying any fines or fees. Speak to your lawyer about a QDRO in your initial meeting.

Get Support: Spousal support can be granted to the party that shows a need. If the providing spouse can afford it, it can give a spouse time to seek a job, take job training, or finish their education — all with the goal of becoming financially independent.

To learn more about divorce law, speak to your divorce lawyer.