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Financial prep when a gay marriage turns into a divorce

When a same-sex couple in Massachusetts encounters marital difficulties, the process of ending a marriage is no different than that for a heterosexual couple. There are a number of measures that spouses should take if they believe that their union is on the rocks, no matter what their gender. With proper planning, an individual can greatly offset many of the negative ramifications of divorce, leaving them better-equipped to move forward in their single life.

One basic preparation strategy involves keeping good records. This includes collecting and copying all tax returns and credit card statements, as well as income documentation for both spouses. Having good records can make it easier to approach a court for spousal support or child support.

Another savvy means of preparing for the worst involves setting aside some savings to weather the period between filing for divorce and coming to terms on a final settlement. Having enough cash on hand to cover basic living expenses is important, and can make a huge difference in one's stress level as the process moves forward. In addition, it may also be a good idea to pay down existing debt before filing for divorce.

When it seems likely that divorce is on the horizon, gay spouses in Massachusetts should ensure that they are as prepared as possible for the coming months. The steps suggested here are not solely beneficial to the divorce process, but are also good tips that any couple can take advantage of. If the marriage stabilizes, having done the prep work outlined here will not undermine the relationship. However, if things do end in divorce, a spouse who has carefully planned for that scenario will be better prepared for what is to come.

Source: Fox Business, "4 Financial Steps to Take if You're Considering a Divorce," March 12, 2013

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