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Don't let divorce separate you from healthy finances

Divorce certainly leaves an impact on your life. If you head into the transition with a clear plan for the future, you are more likely to emerge stronger on the other side because of your preparation. Right now, you probably wonder about the next steps to take. 

Luckily, experts gathered helpful info for people like yourself. As you approach the negotiation with your soon-to-be ex, you probably want to talk about equitable property division, support payments and custody. As you prepare for a winning outcome, keep these tips in mind. 

Understand the financial picture

In a marriage, it is common for one partner to shoulder more of the financial responsibility. At the time of divorce, both partners will likely want to review and understand the various types of financial accounts in order to have a clear idea on what assets exist and what debts need payment. 

Consider the necessities

For most people, the basic necessities include housing and health insurance. The house is an emotional as well as a financial concern. If you decide that you want to keep the house, don't let emotions cloud your view of whether your single income can handle the mortgage. Co-ownership is one option, at least until the house sells and the profits distributed equitably between you.

If you depended on your spouse for health insurance, this is another concern. You may qualify to keep your current plan under COBRA. It is also a good time to review your options with your job or check into health insurance marketplace plans.

The long term - retirement

If you and your spouse were in a marriage for 10 years or more, and your spouse was the higher earner, you can apply for Social Security benefits on the work record of your spouse as long as you do not remarry. If you split investment retirement accounts, you need a document called the Qualified Domestic Relations Order to divide the fund without a tax penalty.

Check and double check

Carefully review any documents that you sign. Remember, the decisions you make now have a lasting impact on your future. There's no rush, so make sure that the decisions you make create a fair and equitable arrangement that you both can live with before finalizing the agreements. Keep your financial plan in mind as you negotiate your divorce.

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