Getting finances ready for a divorce

People in Minnesota who are considering a divorce might want to review their financial situation. They may find that other people are eager to offer advice, but it can be difficult to generalize based on experiences in other jurisdictions. Professionals such as attorneys and certified divorce financial analysts might be in a better position to answer questions.

From the time the divorce seems likely, people should begin recording household expenses. They should also gather all the financial documentation they can including bank statements, credit card statements, investment information, pay stubs and retirement account information. This information may help in putting together a budget and predicting how property division might be decided. It may also be helpful if the other spouse becomes uncooperative and tries to withhold financial information.

Regardless of whether the other spouse is uncooperative, it is important to avoid making any major changes in spending. A couple who shares an account might make an agreement about how they will spend money to pay for the divorce. Documents such as wills should also not be altered until the divorce is final or the court has agreed to it.

A high-asset divorce may add more complexities. For example, if the couple owns a business, they may have to decide whether to sell it or whether one will buy the other out, and neither of these options may be straightforward. There may be complicated investments and property. If there are valuable collections that must be divided, appraisal may be necessary. One person may attempt to hide assets from the other. However, if both people are willing to be transparent, it might still be possible to negotiate property division without turning to litigation. This may also end up with a division of property that both people are happier with.

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