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The financial and emotional toll of divorce

Going through a divorce can take a significant emotional toll on anyone.  Even if a couple approaches a divorce amicably, the process will inevitably result in change -- and that, in turn, will require time for adjustment.

Yet the body is a resilient machine, and many divorced individuals are able to thrive in their newly single lifestyle. Some may find love again and remarry. According to a 2013 study, however, the percentage of divorced women in American society has risen to 15 percent. 

The study was for a limited duration, so it’s unclear whether those women remained unmarried permanently or only for an average period of time after their divorces. Either way, a divorcing individual will need to have secure finances and a budgeting plan to survive. In that regard, a divorce attorney can provide insight.

For example, an attorney might suggest the limited exchange of discovery regarding the marital estate. An attorney may want to independently prepare a list of assets and debts, as a point of comparison against the information provided by the other spouse’s attorney. That approach may help to avoid surprises from debts that a spouse may have hidden during the marriage. Independent valuations may also uncover commonly overlooked assets, such as retirement accounts and beneficiary designations. Equities and real property may also benefit from independent valuations.

Depending on the particulars of the marital estate, an attorney may also suggest working with other professionals, such as a forensic accountant and financial planner, to ensure that a divorcing individual has a viable budget to live on after the divorce.

Source: Huffington Post, “Research Findings From 2013 Offer Insight Into Why Couples Split -- And What Happens After,” Taryn Hillin, Dec. 30, 2013

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