The divorce process begins the dismantling of the couple’s emotional, financial and legal relationship. Planning for divorce should also include a spouse’s separation from any advisor that is being used by their soon-to-be former spouse.
A spouse should seek their own financial advisor who solely represents their interests and can help prepare for life after marriage and when the divorce is finished. Importantly, they can help balance long-term retirement needs with assets and support. These advisors may assist a spouse with confronting major financial issues such as whether they should return to the workforce or if they should stay in the house or sell it and downsize.
The advisor is prepared to help open banking and investment accounts and assure that all financial accounts slated for distribution under property division orders are received. They may also change insurance policies and retirement accounts so that a former spouse is not unintentionally listed as a beneficiary.
Accountants can advise spouses on taxes, predict tax liabilities, child care credits, deductions and filing status. They may review support and property division terms in settlement agreements to assure these do not have unfavorable tax consequences and provide guidance on seeking valid deductions.
A forensic accountant can assist with creating a marital asset schedule and income calculations. They are also helpful for identifying assets for division and available income for spousal and child support. Accountants can help obtain credit reports and may be able to locate missing or overlooked marital assets in many cases.
Each spouse should hire their own attorney who will assert their rights. Lawyers can recommend these experts and develop a plan to address related legal issues.