Heymann & Fletcher

Financial matters remain major area of concern after divorce

The financial and legal paperwork that accompanies divorce may be just as overwhelming as the emotional strain of the process. This is because a divorcing couple may have to deal with deeds, debts that require reorganization, and decrees, among other pressing matters. A few tips may help people in New Jersey to protect their best interests over the long term, particularly financially, when going through divorce.

First, it is imperative to overhaul one's will in order to prevent an ex-spouse from ending up with one's assets. This includes tearing up an old will and creating a brand new one. The guardianship, both secondary and primary, of any children is also important to address in the event that the parent who has child custody dies. Although divorce decrees should address these types of issues, the wishes of custodial parents have not necessarily prevailed in many instances.

It is also important to make sure that one's beneficiary designations are updated on life insurance policies, as well as brokerage accounts and annuities. All of these assets pass outside of wills. Likewise, a person may want to ensure that his or her IRA or 401(k) plan still does not have an ex-spouse listed during and after the process of divorce.

Divorce can be complicated in New Jersey, especially for those who have high-value assets. An understanding of the law may help two divorcing individuals to negotiate matters, such as asset division and property distribution, in a manner that benefits both parties after the divorce. If two people cannot find common ground, however, a divorce judge will have to make these critical decisions for them.

Source: marketwatch.com, "Divorcing? How to make sure your ex doesn't end up with your assets", Melissa Montgomery-Fitzsimmons, March 7, 2016

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