If you are contemplating a divorce, going through one now, or have recently finalized a divorce, you know there are many moving parts that need to be considered. If you’re in the contemplation or beginning stages, you may be thinking, “Wow, my spouse has always been the one to handle the finances. I have no idea what to make of all of this.” You may not have been involved with where your family assets are held or even how much you have. Maybe your eyes glaze over anytime investments, retirement savings, or life insurance are mentioned. If you’re finishing up a divorce or just finalized one, you may be thinking, “What now? Where do I go from here?”. You may have just gone through a long emotional battle with someone you thought you’d spend your life with. Now you must think about what your future life looks like. At any of stage, your world can feel as though it has been turned upside down.
With the many moving parts in the divorce process, there are steps you can take to help you get to the other side efficiently and with an outcome that is beneficial for you. Below I’ve outlined tips and guidelines to help you avoid mistakes along the way.
Many people are not prepared financially for a divorce. Maybe you are mentally prepared to end the marriage, but are your financial ducks in a row? It’s important that you take these necessary steps.
You may not have been involved in the finances in the past, but it’s important to be knowledgeable about what you own during a divorce process. These action steps will help you feel more educated and confident with your financial situation.
Consider Taxes and Fees
Remember you are still married. In the eyes of the IRS, you are either married filing jointly or married filing separately. As difficult as it may be to work together with your spouse during this time, it is beneficial to you both to minimize total taxes during a separation and after the divorce. These are a few other areas of focus as it relates to taxes and fees.
Think Long Term
It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and what you are going through right now. As hard as it may be, try to let go of the past, look beyond today, and think about your future. These tips will help you make forward looking decisions.
Create a New, Refreshed Plan
Financial planning is important. Maybe you and your ex-spouse set up a joint financial plan, or maybe you never have. Either way, focusing on your financial health will help you continue to feel empowered as you move into your new, refreshed lifestyle. These three steps will help you get started.
Divorce is sometimes a long, emotional journey. Along the way, try to stay focused, remain patient, and forward looking. Your financial future is in your hands, but you don’t have to do it alone. Be sure to form a “divorce team” of legal, financial, and tax advisers to help. For more information about how Modera can help with your divorce, please reach out to your team of advisors. Or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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