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The importance of financial planning during a divorce


When couples in Massachusetts get married, they have many financial decisions to make. The same is true when the marriage dissolves. A divorce could mean taking extensive time detailing marital assets, property and debts. For some, this process is not as difficult because they have designated instruments such a prenuptial agreement to determine the division of property. For others, this can be an extremely stressful, emotional and complex task to complete.

Financial planning is considered an important task to include in a marriage. By adequately assessing the assets, property and debts involved in a marriage, the divorce process could be much easier. But, fortunately, even if the couple did not include financial planning while they were together, they could undertake this process while they are divorcing. In order to do this, cooperation is needed.

In states like Massachusetts, marital assets are essentially cut in half. Although this is ideal, some items cannot be cut in half such as a house or a vehicle. In order to keep things fairly equal and reduce disputes between the soon-to-be ex-spouses, receiving equity in the house or non-retirement assets can help allocate their assets evenly.

For those that know that they need to divide their marital assets but cannot come to an agreement, mediation or counseling may be appropriate. These approaches can help provide a cooperative environment for the divorcing spouses. In these cases, if a financial planner is involved, they should stay separate or at arms length from this process in order to ensure the process is properly carried out.

The divorce process is a complex an emotional time for most. It can also be difficult to proceed through for those in it because they are so affected and emotionally drained. That is why it is especially important they seek knowledgeable support and assistance.

Source: Financial Planning, "Divorce Ahead? Help Clients Get a Fair Deal," Elliot M. Kass, Nov. 21, 2013

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