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I provide experienced legal guidance in family law, divorce and special education law. I represent parents and families throughout western Massachusetts.

Financial issues in divorce can be avoided with planning

Divorce can lead to financial issues for both spouses in some cases. This can be true when a Massachusetts couple does not plan their divorce effectively prior to filing. A review of the fiscal life of a marriage can mitigate financial issues as the divorce proceeds.

An early plan for a divorce can include a compilation of all assets and liabilities attributable to the couple. This list can be used to determine what assets or debts each member of the couple will keep after the dissolution is final. Without a clear list, there may be debts and assets that will be addressed in divorce proceedings. A comprehensive list should include adding all investments, retirement accounts and 401k plans. These accounts may be subject to property division in a divorce proceeding and should be included in an early planning process.

Once a clear picture of the financial issues that may come up during a divorce proceeding is developed, it is easier for a couple to enter into negotiations. A settlement can be reached when each party is willing to fully address all aspects of the financial life of the marriage. If no agreement can be made between the parties as to the distribution of assets and debts, often a court is asked to step in and make a determination. In this instance the court will review for fairness, as well as taking into consideration issues such as the ownership status and equitable share for each piece of marital property.

After a Massachusetts divorce is final there may be a few financial issues that remain. A newly divorced person may consider reviewing all estate planning documents and insurance policies to ensure that they have a proper beneficiary listed. These documents can be changed to reflect a new beneficiary at the end of the dissolution process in most instances.

Source: Miami Herald, "Facing the financial facts of getting a divorce," Andrew Menachem, March 10, 2012

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