Financial Points to Consider During Divorce
During your first meetings with a Pennsylvania divorce attorney, you will begin to discuss your financial situation. In some ways, divorce is like splitting up a business partnership: both processes focus on dividing assets and debts in a way that neither unfairly rewards nor unfairly burdens either party.
If you are considering divorce or have recently filed for divorce, here are a few financial points you will want to consider:
- Bank Accounts. Joint bank accounts (in both your name and your spouse’s name) can often be divided equally, especially if both parties agree this division is fair. If you don’t typically keep an eye on your household’s shared accounts, now is a good time to start.
- Investments. Stocks, bonds and similar investments will also have to be considered and, if necessary, divided during the divorce. You may also decide to give one spouse the lion’s share of the investments if the other spouse gets another major asset, such as the house. There are tax considerations in the division or retention of investment accounts and a financial planner or tax accountant should be consulted as part of the process.
- Credit Cards. Often, the best way to address joint credit cards is to pay off any outstanding balances and cancel the cards. Each spouse can then take out a new card in his or her own name, ensuring the other spouse is not responsible for his or her spending. If paying off and closing the cards isn’t possible, the debt will have to be dealt with during the divorce.
- Insurance. Health care coverage, as well as prepaid insurance like life insurance or auto insurance policies, is also an asset that belongs to the marriage and needs to be considered when creating a divorce settlement. Many times a spouse will change the beneficiary of a life insurance policy without the knowledge or consent of the other party. When discovered, the court will generally require the beneficiary to be changed back to the spouse until dealt with in the divorce.
If you are getting a divorce in Pennsylvania, our experienced attorneys can help you understand financial points to consider as well as all other divorce-related matters. To learn more, contact our office today to set up a consultation.