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Financial planning for divorce

Divorce can be a stressful and painful process. People are often so anxious to finalize the divorce that they make hasty, unwise decisions regarding their finances. While it's natural to want the divorce process to be as short as possible, it's also important to remember that the implications of a divorce can last a long time. Married people in Tennessee who are considering divorce can avoid pain down the road by making wise financial decisions today.

It's important for anyone preparing for divorce to document their financial assets and liabilities. Copies should be made of tax returns for the past five years, mortgage documents, investment accounts, and any other assets or debts. These numbers are used to determine payments for alimony and child support. It's also important to remember that dollar amounts listed on paper may not be the actual money available. Some assets, like homes and 401(k) plans, may change in value once they're liquidated.

It's also important to take emotion out of the process and look at financial matters with a rational, logical eye. That's easier said than done because divorce is an emotional event. However, intense emotions can lead to poor financial decisions like paying high legal fees to drag out the process, overspending on children to buy their affection or failing to budget or prepare for a newly single lifestyle. These kinds of actions are common and are often made by even the most financially savvy individuals.

Divorce can be a difficult process, but acquiring solid advice may make it easier. Married individuals considering divorce may benefit from speaking with an experienced attorney. An attorney could evaluate the couple's financial situation, prepare necessary documents for court and negotiate on behalf of their client to obtain the most favorable settlement.

Source: Wicked Local Hopkinton, "AUTERI: Financial concerns during a divorce", Alan Auteri, May 09, 2013