Financial preparedness essential before filing for divorce

Making a decision to end a marriage may be difficult, but many more decisions will follow before it is all over. When thinking of divorce, the first things many Louisiana people may consider are child custody and property division, but there are many more things with which to deal. As soon as the intention to file for divorce is announced to family and friends, be assured that there will be no shortage of advice -- often from complete strangers. However, no two marriages or divorces are the same, and what worked for others were likely unique to their circumstances.

Financial preparedness will play a significant role in the process. While it is not cheap to get divorced, legal costs can be limited by avoiding litigation. Communication and compromise may lead to mutual agreements on most or all issues -- especially if done with the help of a divorce mediator.

Addressing debts will form part of the property division process, and proper preparation can help. Some people advise that all joint accounts are closed and new separate accounts opened before filing for divorce. Similarly, joint debts must be paid if possible; otherwise, they must be included in the property division agreement. If it is necessary to refinance a car or home, it may be best to do that before the divorce, while the household income on applications can include the earnings of both spouses.

The way in which the couple handles the process will determine how painful the divorce is. They can choose to bury the hatchet for a while and work together to reach agreements that will suit all and be in the best interests of the children if applicable. Their respective attorneys can provide support and guidance during negotiations and ensure the final divorce agreement complies with the legal requirements of a Louisiana court.

Source: marriage.com, "How To Get a Divorce: What You Need to Know", Accessed on Nov. 19, 2016

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