The divorce process: seeing and understanding the bigger picture

The financial repercussions of a divorce can reverberate for years and negatively impact an individual's ability to meet future goals. While going through a divorce, some individuals are so overcome by the associated emotional aspects that they aren't able to see the forest through the trees. This is when the advice and guidance of a skilled divorce attorney becomes invaluable.

In addition to having a divorce attorney who has one's current and future best interests in mind, there are also steps an individual can take to build a more secure financial future for himself or herself and shared children. For example, for those individuals who may not have their own source of income, it's wise to take steps to secure employment and open a bank and credit card account in one's own name.

In addition to dividing marital assets, it's important to brainstorm about potential future expenses, particularly those related to shared children. For example, it's wise to consider how expenses like braces, a vehicle and college tuition will be paid. Additionally, for a parent who is receiving child support, what would happen if an ex-spouse was involved in a fatal car accident tomorrow? During divorce negotiations, it's wise to demand that an ex-spouse maintain life insurance coverage to secure future payment.

Taxes are another financial matter that is often overlooked when negotiating a divorce settlement. Certain financial accounts may be taxed at higher rates. What about the tax implications associated with keeping a marital home? Additionally, for divorcing parents, it's important to consider which spouse will be allowed to claim a child as a dependant as well as understand the tax rules associated with spousal support payments. 

The road to divorce can have many twists and turns and unexpected delays and roadblocks. While, at times, it's normal and natural to feel overwhelmed by the divorce process, it's important to not lose sight of the bigger picture and ultimate goals which relate to ensuring for one’s financial freedom and security. 

Source: The Tennessean, "7 ways to mitigate the financial fallout from divorce," Phoebe Venable, Nov. 7, 2014

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