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Ways to prepare for a divorce settlement

Once the decision to file for divorce has been made, Connecticut residents may wonder about the next step. Every divorce is different because of the specific facts and circumstances surrounding the spouses. However, there are some steps that divorcing parties can take to prepare for divorce negotiations and help ensure that they are able to receive things to which they are entitled.

The first step is to gather all important documents, including bank statements, real estate documents, wills, brokerage account statements, tax records from before and during the marriage, retirement account records and insurance policies. The more information a person has about marital assets, the easier it is to ensure a fair distribution. The next step is for each spouse to open individual bank accounts and credit cards. That way, a person can ensure that payroll deposits are made to an account that is inaccessible to the other spouse.

While the divorce is pending, experts may recommend opening a separate joint escrow account to manage joint expenses. A spouse that maintains the marital standard of living as much as possible during the divorce may be better able to show the need for financial support from the other spouse. Child support issues should be resolved, including an agreement regarding college expenses and health insurance coverage. Insurance for the lower-earning spouse can also be negotiated. Seeking professional help may also help protect a spouse's property settlement.

A family law attorney may be able to help locate hidden assets and value intangible assets. It may also be possible for the attorney to negotiate contentious issues such as child custody, child support and alimony. In these ways, a local attorney may be able to help make the divorce process seem easier on everyone involved.

Source: Huffington Post, "We're Getting A Divorce, Now What?", July 29, 2013

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