Divorce

When people are contemplating divorce or believe that their spouse is, emotions may overpower their ability to make wise decisions. That's why it's essential to have a strong team in place to look after your legal, financial and psychological well-being and help with choices that could have long-term ramifications.

Prepare for Single Life

Financial planning for a newly-single life is key. It's important for people to know how much they'll need to live on their own. All expenses won't simply be cut in half. A single person generally pays about 70 percent of what a married couple pays for living expenses.

If you haven't been in the workplace for awhile, it's best to start preparing to re-enter the job market as soon as possible. This may involve updating job skills or networking with old colleagues. Don't count on lifetime spousal support.

Start taking stock of marital assets. It's essential to know what you and your spouse have that will be divided. That's one of the first things that family law attorneys ask about. It's also important to know what assets your spouse has. Experts advise not to make any significant withdrawals or purchases at this point. This can look like a person is trying to hide assets.

Be Smart About the Family Home

It's generally best not to move out of the family home before consulting with an attorney. The date of separation can be significant. It could also look like a person has abandoned his or her family.

Speaking of the family home, this is the largest asset that most people have. While many people fight to keep it, that's often not financially the wisest choice. The expense of maintaining a home on a single income can be more than many people can handle. Legal and financial professionals can help you determine which assets are worth seeking. The long-term financial and tax implications need to be considered.

These are just a few of the early financial considerations that people need to make in the divorce process, preferably with the advice of legal and financial professionals who can bring an unemotional perspective at a highly emotional time. The sooner you begin this process, the better off you'll likely be in the long run.

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