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Don't forget about assets, property during divorce negotiations

Getting divorced is never easy, and there are many considerations to make during this difficult time. What will happen to the house? Will my retirement plans say the same? These are common questions many spouses think about after deciding to get divorced. 

Understanding the financial impact of divorce can be difficult and complex, especially for older couples who have accumulated more assets during the marriage. That is why it is important for spouses to know how property division negotiations work, and what considerations they should make before agreeing to anything in the divorce settlement.

Couples getting divorced will have to divide their marital assets and debt. This includes dividing retirement plans, pension plans and investments. Couples may also divide stock options, life insurance policies and other financial accounts. 

In addition to dividing financial accounts, couples will also have to divide household items like collections, furniture, even gifts. Dividing these possessions can be very difficult for some people. However difficult the process is, it is important to know the value of these items to make sure each spouse is getting his or her fair share in the divorce settlement.

It can be easy for couples with a lot of assets and property to forget about certain marital assets they might be entitled to receive in the divorce settlement. Some items commonly overlooked during the divorce process include benefits from previous employers, cemetery plots and memberships to country clubs or golf courses. It is important to review these items and know their value to make sure they are included in the divorce settlement. 

There are many other items to be aware of and review during property division negotiations that can significantly impact the amount of assets and property each spouses is awarded after the divorce. To make sure no assets or property are forgotten, it may be best to consult a divorce attorney for guidance and help during this process. 

Source: Forbes, "Divorcing Women: Don't Forget These Marital Assets," Jeff Landers, Oct. 16, 2013

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