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Attentive divorce planning can improve financial future

Beginning a divorce is an emotional and often stressful process, as many Ohio residents know. As emotions run high, it can be difficult to focus on the financial future. However, it is important to consider all aspects of the financial outcome of a divorce in planning for future needs.

Some suggest that as you begin to consider a divorce, one of the best first steps is to make a list of all of your assets and debts. Using tax returns, investment statements and monthly bills, a person considering divorce should work to create a full picture of the financial life of a couple. This can assist in negotiations as the divorce moves forward.

A review of a couple's finances should also consider the insurance needs of both spouses post-divorce. Sometimes, a person can continue to be covered under their ex-spouse's medical insurance plan, through COBRA, even after the divorce is final. This can be a part of a negotiated settlement.

After the divorce is final, it is important for Ohio residents to remember to review their estate plans. Wills and trusts should be altered to remove the ex-spouse as a beneficiary in favor of another party when desired. Additionally, as the recently divorced person reviews all of the documents, any change in strategies for estate and retirement planning should be considered.

There are many financial questions that every couple faces in a divorce. As they work to separate property and assets, considering the long-term impact of the financial decisions is important. Prior to making any agreement, a person preparing to divorce will likely benefit from placing one's present and future financial picture in the proper perspective.

Source: Miami Herald, "Facing the financial facts of getting a divorce," Andrew Menachem, March 10, 2012

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