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Dealing with money matters in divorce

Divorces can be stressful on multiple levels: On top of the emotional and mental stress associated with a dissolution of marriage, there is a large amount of financial uncertainty that is experienced by divorcees in New Jersey and throughout the country. The process of un-merging the money that was built up during the marriage is a difficult process, but it can be done by taking the following steps.

Separate property or community property?

Knowing how the state where the divorce is being requested views property is a deciding factor in untangling the money that a couple accrued before their divorce. Community property is defined as any asset that is gained during the marriage. Separate property is considered any property that either partner had before their marriage.

Different states have their own laws for how these different types of property are divided during a divorce. Divorcees may want to contact an attorney to help them know what is theirs and what belongs to both parties in the divorce.

Unmingling bank accounts

Most married couples have at least one joint checking or savings account. Both parties should create a comprehensive list of any accounts that they are linked to and provide it to their attorney. Depending on how friendly the divorce is, both parties may be able to go to the bank together, close the accounts and evenly split the money.

Investment accounts

Since investment accounts are not the same type of liquid asset that a bank account is, dividing them can be a bit messier. It is highly advised that both parties work out a written agreement as to how investments will be divided. If that is not possible, liquidation of the account might be better than the large fees associated with a transfer or withdrawal.

Whether contested or uncontested, anyone going through a divorce may want to work with an attorney. A family law attorney may review their client’s assets, explain their state’s divorce laws and begin negotiating on behalf of their client.