Gusty A.E. Sunseri & Associates, P.C. Attorneys at Law

Thinking through the complex financial process of divorce: Part I

Choosing to get a divorce is a big decision in and of itself. But once that decision has been made, there is a long list of other decisions which will need to be made as well, including many large ones that could impact the financial futures of you and your children.

Pittsburgh residents who have recently decided to divorce may be asking themselves, "How do I begin?" Thankfully, there are professionals who know the process and can help divorcing individuals navigate it successfully.

In a recent article, finance professional Linda Descano offered a list of tips for people in this situation. While her advice is often tailored to women, it could just as easily apply to men in many cases as well.

Like many things in life, divorce involves a lot of paperwork and calculations. Therefore, Descano advises divorcing individuals to collect all financial documents and other paperwork of legal significance and have them ready. She says that accurate identification of assets now will likely result in a more equitable division of assets later.

The next steps involve separating finances in order to get each spouse established on their own. This includes opening up separate checking/savings accounts and getting rid of things like joint credit cards.

Descano says that spouses may also wish to consider creating an escrow or joint account, specifically to handle payments that need to be made during the divorce proceedings.

One of the final steps parents can take immediately is to begin to establish child support (which is not just limited to financial support). Depending on your situation and where you live, child support could begin relatively quickly or it could start later in the divorce proceedings.

In the meantime, parents should offer other kinds of support to their children, making sure that they are receiving the emotional and physical care that they require during this difficult time.

Check back later this week as we continue our discussion. We'll share more tips on navigating the divorce process.

Source: The Huffington Post, "We're Getting A Divorce, Now What?" Linda Descano, Feb. 1, 2012

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