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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.

Divorce causes more financial harm the second time around

Marriage statistics across the U.S. show that approximately 50 percent of unions will end in divorce. The end of a marriage is always distressing, no matter how unhappy the partners may be or how much the split is desired. Financial concerns are some of the biggest challenges to face when it comes to divorce, and new research suggests that the financial toll of divorce gets harder the second time around.

When ending a second or third marriage, many individuals may still be feeling the financial effects of their first divorce. One or even both spouses may still be paying child support or alimony to former partners. There could also be a loss of retirement benefits from a prior divorce agreement, or costs associated with having to sell marital property such as a home or business.

Experts advise that, as is so often the case, prevention is the best cure. Having a prenuptial agreement is the best way to ensure that you will leave the marriage with some semblance of what you brought into the union. However, if you find yourself facing a divorce proceeding without a prenup, the best approach is to carefully document what assets you had at the onset of the marriage, through paper or electronically stored files.

When couples begin their divorce process, it is important to try and remain as rational and businesslike as possible. The best approach is one that not only takes into account your current financial standing, but also looks ahead to ensure the future financial stability of both spouses. Couples in Massachusetts who marry a second or third time face even greater odds of the relationship ending in divorce, and as you move toward retirement, especially in a time of economic uncertainty, making sound financial decisions during your divorce can have a huge impact on your future financial standing.

Source: CNBC, "Second divorces multiply the cost and pain," July 12, 2012

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