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Tips for avoiding financial mistakes during a divorce

Sometimes a marriage loses steam and two people choose to end their time together. In doing so, however, it may be that neither party really understands what life apart will be like. The financial implications of divorce, in particular, catch many men and women off guard. Perhaps by following a few of the following tips, others may be able to stave off financial misfortune.

First, and maybe most importantly, comes the decision of how to approach the divorce: collaboration or litigation?  If two people in Ontario are able to work together, they can choose a form of alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation. This choice alone may allow for a significant savings versus going to court. It can also lead to a tailor-made solution that's best for both parties.

Learning exactly what one's assets and liabilities are is also a great piece of advice. By getting the full scope of one's personal financial situation, it will be easier to arrive at appropriate terms with one's spouse, and make plans for the future. This should include investigating one's credit report and analyzing it for any hidden surprises.

Planning for the future is very important, and this should include updating plans already made. During a divorce it is advisable to update one's will and other advance planning directives to better accommodate new family arrangements. For example, it is unlikely a person would want to leave an ex-spouse as a major beneficiary in his or her will. Looking to the future, now may be the time to start directing income into retirement savings, for the other spouse's contribution may no longer be available.

For most people, the post-divorce financial picture will look very different to what they have become used to. This doesn't mean it has to be worse, however. Careful planning and handling of the divorce can still result in a stable today and comfortable tomorrow. A caring and experienced Ontario family law attorney can help to make that happen.

Source: Forbes, "How To Succeed Financially During And After A Divorce", Mark Avallone, Jan. 27, 2017

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