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Financial considerations important in divorce in Pennsylvania

Marriage is about more than just love; finances can play a significant role in the success of the institution. Just as the health of a marriage can be dependent upon a couple's financial situation, the financial outcome of a divorce can have a huge impact on the futures of the former spouses. Unfortunately, poor decisions commonly made during the divorce process often result in Pennsylvania divorcees suffering financial woes for years afterward. This is especially common in couples who are divorcing after spending many years together.

In many mid-life divorces, spouses tend to put importance on keeping the home during negotiations concerning property division. However, many times the spouse who wishes to retain the home does not realize the expenses associated with ownership. In some cases, it will be better for the home to be sold, and the profits split. This may be particularly true if the couple's children are grown, and the home is larger than what one spouse needs.

Also, spouses often allow their emotions to control too much of the decision-making process during a divorce. This commonly causes spouses to make the litigation more contentious than necessary, resulting in additional expenses. On the other hand, it may also be a good idea to not be too accommodating when negotiating and litigating. For instance, if a husband or wife helped put his or her spouse through medical school, he or she may want to consider asking for spousal support or a portion of his or her partner's medical practice's profits.

For Pennsylvania couples divorcing in mid-life, there are certain special considerations that must be made. The combination of looming retirement and years of joint accounts and investments makes it very important to ensure that a couple's finances are divided in a way that does not result in one spouse facing financial difficulties after the divorce is finalized. By seeking the help of professionals, both legal and financial, those wishing to divorce in mid-life can ensure that their interests are protected.

Source: Bloomberg, "The Mid-Life Divorce: Don't Get Taken, Don't Get Even", Ben Steverman, Nov. 10, 2014

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