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Financial questions to answer after deciding on divorce

Maybe it was your idea to proceed with the divorce process. Or maybe your spouse feels that it's for the best. Perhaps the both of you mutually agree that your marriage is no longer working.

Regardless of the lead up, once you decide to divorce it's critical that you turn a good portion of your attention and resources to your current and future financial circumstances.

Here are five important financial questions to answer:

  • Do you want to remain in the family home? Even if the answer is yes, it doesn't necessarily mean it will work out. However, you still need to know if it's something you want to do, as it will greatly impact your finances.
  • Do you have joint debt? Chances are that you have some type of joint debt, including but not limited to mortgage, car loans, personal loans and credit cards. These debts require division before or during divorce.
  • Have you created a property division checklist? Property division has the potential to cause a variety of challenges and disagreements, so it's best to know exactly what you're working with. Create a list of all of your assets, broken down by category and whether they are joint or separate.
  • Do you have a post-divorce budget? It takes some time to create one, but don't wait to get the bones in place. It should provide a clear idea of how much money you'll earn each month, as well as your expenses.
  • Have you planned for unexpected expenses? These often pop up during the divorce process, such as when hiring an attorney, consulting with a tax professional or finding a place to live. By planning for these, it's easier to set aside money so you are not caught off-guard.

While these are among the most common financial questions to answer after deciding on divorce, there are sure to be many others that require your attention. Some are easier to answer than others, but each one deserves your attention.

As you answer these questions and address your concerns, you'll better understand your situation and the steps you must take to protect your financial interests and legal rights. It sounds like a lot, but moving forward one step at a time will keep you on track.

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