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Why you should become familiar with your finances before divorce

In many marriages, one spouse typically handles the family finances like the budget, the day-to-day finances and long-term issues like retirement planning. While every couple manages their money in a different way, the husband is responsible for financial decisions in a majority of marriages in the United States.

A survey by Fidelity Investments reported that among couples in long-term relationships, 24 percent of women were responsible for daily financial decisions, and only 19 percent of women managed retirement decisions in the relationship. The lack of women taking care of the family finances could put them at a disadvantage if they ever get divorced in the future.

It is important for both spouses to be aware of their finances and retirement goals. In the event the marriage ends, the couple will have to divide their marital assets and property. If one spouse has no clue as to what assets are considered marital or how much wealth the couple shares, it could lead to the other spouse hiding assets or taking advantage of them during asset division negotiations.

Not understanding the couple’s finances could also impact alimony decisions in Florida if one spouse is not aware of how much it costs to maintain the same lifestyle after divorce. If you don’t usually handle the finances in the relationship and you are considering divorce, what can you do to prepare for negotiations?

You should become familiar with all your bank and retirement accounts as well as any property you both own. It is also helpful to make a list of your assets, debts, income and expenses to determine your current budget. This will help you make decisions on how to divide assets and property as well as how your alimony awards or contributions will be awarded.

Understanding your finances will help during the divorce process, and help you make better financial decisions that will make your life after the divorce more successful.

Source: Forbes, “Women: Be Equal Partners In Marital Finances,” Jeff Landers, Nov. 6, 2013

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