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Realistically assess financial health during a divorce

A divorce is never easy on New Jersey families. People can face emotional challenges and a serious breakdown in communication when going through the process. However, many people do not think about the financial complications that can arise both during and after the divorce. Taking the time to properly prepare for the divorce and also a financial separation from a partner can save both parties time and money in the future.

Many people forget about assets they may have, especially if they've left a job or if it's something they do not routinely access. While the marital home is normally the largest asset a married couple possesses, others may have forgotten pensions, stock options and even deferred compensation. These items may not be jointly owned at the time of the divorce but state law could very well throw these benefits into the pool to be divided into a marital settlement.

Debts can also be a sticking point in a divorce. No one wants to be saddled with debt for something they don't have or use. If possible, it may be a good idea to either pay the debt off or way down before filing for a divorce. It is much harder to remove someone from a debt unless it is paid in full. Paying things off can help ensure one party doesn't become burdened with debt for something they no longer own.

Knowing monthly expenditures is also important and can help during and after the divorce. Most people don't know how much they actually spend each month, so taking the time to meticulously track it can help couples decide if they can still live the same lifestyle they had before or if they need to make an adjustment in their living style, such as selling the home or other property. Knowing one's financial health and legal rights during a New Jersey divorce can help the process go easier and assist in a realistic adjustment for newly divorced couples.

Source: Fox Business, "Five Things to Know About Your Finances Before a Divorce," Cindy Vanegas, May 4, 2012

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