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What you should know about finances, assets and divorce

In a divorce proceeding, many family law issues can surface which require resolution or some understanding between the parties undergoing the dissolution. In addition to issues that may involve child custody and child support, parties will have to deal with financial issues. A recent article listed some helpful tips to help ease issues surrounding assets and even debt for people thinking about filing for divorce or who are in the process of getting a divorce.

In a marriage couples sometimes play specific roles, such as one spouse who may be better at maintaining finances and may handle all the finances. However, when divorce is on the table, rather than only one spouse having access to all financial documents, assets and liabilities the couples may have, it is very important for both parties to have access to this information. This includes items such as monthly bills, mortgage payments, retirement accounts, joint debts and tax returns, to name a few.

For those couple who have retirement accounts, they may want to get a qualified domestic relations order which specifically details how retirement accounts will be divided. If the couple ran a business together, the valuation of the business may be necessary. By both parties having a clear understanding of what their financial assets and liabilities are, it may prevent the parties from attempting to hide assets during the divorce.

When it comes to the family house, important decisions may need to be made on whether to keep the home with one party or to sell and divide the profits. In many cases, with a change in circumstance, such as only one income, it may be difficult to maintain the house alone. Related to the change in one's lifestyle following a divorce, it is important to have an understanding of what one's post-divorce life expenses will be. In some cases, spousal support may be needed.

Source: Wall Street Journal, "Divorce and Money: Six Costly Mistakes," Veronica Dagher, May 15, 2015

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