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Tips to ease matters of property division in divorce

For many Massachusetts couples considering divorce, issues of property division are paramount. With the exception of child custody concerns, property division is usually the center of the majority of negotiations. As the time approaches to file for and work through a divorce, there are a few tips to keep in mind that can help to maximize one's settlement in terms of property division.

One piece of advice concerns budgeting. The time to work out a comprehensive household budget is before negotiations begin. Leave nothing unaccounted for, no matter how minor the expense may seem. Many spouses make the mistake of fighting to the bitter end to keep the family home, without understanding the actual cost of running and maintaining the property. In order to ensure a secure financial future, it is essential to understand the financial present.

Another tip is to fully understand the state laws regarding marital property. Each state differs in their approach to the division of property, but each spouse should begin the process fully informed as to what is owned and by whom. This is especially important when it comes to assets that are less tangible than homes and cars, such as stock options and other forms of deferred compensation.

Divorce can be an emotional time for spouses, even when the split is in the best interests of everyone involved. However, it is imperative that one makes reasonable, rational decisions when it comes to property division. The choices made now can affect both spouses for decades to come, and it is important to move forward with full understanding of the financial road ahead. Divorcing spouses in Massachusetts would be well advised to gain comprehensive knowledge of their rights in terms of property division as they move toward their new lives.

Source: ChicagoParent.com, "Four ways to protect finances in a divorce," Lela Davidson, Oct. 5, 2012

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