Anytime a business owner makes decisions based upon emotion rather than logic or reasoning, he or she risks making the wrong decisions, which could lead to future financial problems. The same can be said during a divorce in Pennsylvania, or in any other state. Many financial experts suggest that people look at divorce mediation like a business deal, rather than as an emotional experience.
Although putting aside one's emotions can be challenging, negotiating a divorce settlement calmly and objectively can produce a more desirable outcome for both parties. The first step is listing all marital and individual assets. After doing this, couples should decide whether it will be most beneficial to divide marital assets or to retain ownership of certain assets, which can be accomplished by buying out a spouse. Couples should also consider transferring particular assets into a trust or life estate for children or grandchildren, if they so desire.
If a couple has children, the financial impact the divorce will have upon the children should be an important consideration when negotiating a divorce settlement. It will usually be best for both parties to attempt to minimize negative effects to any existing estate plans. Adult children receiving financial support from parents may need to lower their future expectations of financial support following the divorce.
On the other hand, despite honest attempts at finding common ground, many divorce mediations are not successful. Unsuccessful negotiations may require spouses to settle their differences through the litigation process in a Pennsylvania court. Therefore, an overall legal strategy is not only important when mediation is an option, but also when divorces are more contentious and spouses cannot reach agreements.
Source: USA Today, "Protect finances in later-in-life divorce", Anna Helhoski, Nov. 23, 2014