Heymann & Fletcher

Consider "spring cleaning" for property division

It is not uncommon for New Jersey residents who are preparing to divorce to experience high levels of stress. Often, the source of that stress is the uncertainty overshadowing each spouse's future financial circumstances. One way to alleviate stress surrounding money matters is to become fully informed on the process and impacts of property division. Spouses can take a "spring cleaning" approach to the financial aspects of divorce.

A great place to begin is by collecting all relevant financial documentation on family finances. This includes information concerning income, assets and debt. Be sure to include tax returns and insurance policies, as these can sometimes provide much-needed clarity on the full scope of marital wealth. These documents will be requested by both attorneys early on in the divorce process, and having them already in place can help save time and money.

It can also be helpful to take steps to increase one's knowledge and understanding of financial topics. Most communities offer a wealth of resources in that regard, including community college courses, service organization lectures and events, and even social groups focused on improving financial literacy. For those who have no time in their schedule to attend a course or social event, purchasing a few books on financial management is yet another option.

When it comes to issues of property division and divorce, New Jersey residents who take the time and make the effort to become fully informed on the subject have a greater chance of success. By gathering documentation and preparing for the divorce process, spouses can better understand the full scope of marital wealth. Improving their personal financial management skills will help spouses make savvy decisions both during divorce and in the years to follow.

Source: kansascity.com, "Spring cleaning your finances in divorce", Chanel Fortier, March 22, 2017

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