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Protect finances during a divorce

There are many issues that arise when a California couple decides to end their marriage. The process can prove to be complicated and stressful, particularly when dealing with money matters. Experts suggest seeking professional advice when it comes to handling finances during a divorce.

Experts can help someone going through a divorce to understand how decisions made will affect finances, both currently and in the future. Sound financial advice can help prevent potential problems with taxes, property division or retirement plans. Having a plan in place can help those getting divorced to make more rational decisions in the process. It is imperative to thoroughly understand everything in the divorce documentation before signing it. Unfortunately, once the papers are signed, it is unlikely that the decisions will be reversed in court.

Advisers recommend making certain that all decisions are documented. Unless something is specified in the divorce decree, it may not be carried out, even if a couple agreed to something informally. Another area of possible concern is the inclusion of life or disability policies in the final divorce papers. There are also many questions to address regarding home ownership, such as who keeps it and how will payments be made.

Many divorcing couples have retirement accounts and these should be divided properly to avoid tax or transfer penalties. Couples with children may likewise need to discuss how to pay for college expenses in the future. Finally, the ex-spouses need to determine how tax exemptions for their children will be reported to the Internal Revenue Service.

It is clear that financial decisions made during a divorce can have far-reaching implications to California couples. To minimize risks and avoid potential losses, it would be beneficial to seek the guidance of a knowledgeable divorce lawyer. An experienced attorney will work with clients to protect their interests and seek to achieve the most favorable outcome in the divorce proceedings.

Source: investopedia.com, "How to Achieve Financial Goals During a Divorce", Rose Swanger, Nov. 22, 2017

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