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Keep finances in focus when planning for divorce in Washington

Washington State residents who are considering ending their marriage will inevitably have a multitude of questions going through their minds. Many are personal, but financial issues cannot be ignored. Whether it is a high asset divorce or involves spouses of more modest means, keeping track of the finances is imperative.

Many people do not know what they have in the bank, the balance in their retirement accounts, or the total amount due on their mortgage. Couples will often have an estate plan that was in effect based on the marriage. A will, a trust, a power of attorney and a health care proxy might have to be changed. Spouses who have grown accustomed to a certain lifestyle will need to adjust after the marriage is over. For example, the mortgage or rent might have been an afterthought during the marriage. Once the marriage is over, this can be a substantial cost. Other payments like utilities, car payments and other unforeseen expenses must be considered.

Having help in sifting through the different financial issues can make the process a lot easier. A spouse should consider not only legal help, but accounting help, and assistance with real estate transactions.

Emotions are unavoidable in a divorce, but they can extend to issues that are not important. Doing battle over items of little value can make the proceedings last longer than they should, and inflict unnecessary pain on the other spouse and oneself. Those who are getting a divorce or considering one should make sure to contact an attorney for help with these and any other matters that may arise.

Source: Kiplinger.com, "What to Do If You're Divorcing Your Valentine," Barbara Shapiro, Feb. 10, 2017

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