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Things you should know before a divorce

One of the biggest complaints that people in Massachusetts have after a divorce is that they simply didn't know enough in advance. Everything can be very stressful if you feel blindsided all of the time, and you may end up with an agreement that does not give you what you're after. Below are a few things you need to know beforehand:

1. The real value of your property. Remember that values for many things—like homes or cars—could have changed dramatically since you bought them.

2. What you want to do with your home. You and your spouse have to decide if you'll get it, if he or she gets it, or if it'll be sold so that the money can be split up. Knowing this in advance helps you plan for the future and find a place to live.

3. What your expenses will look like after the split. People often forget about things like utilities, which they're used to splitting, and they're shocked by the cost of paying them on their own. Remember that the overall cost goes up when you both pay separately.

4. How each decision plays into the next. For example, one woman hadn't properly calculated what her expenses would look like, so she thought she had an affordable home. It turned out to be more than she could afford, though, and she was forced to sell and move after the split.

Don't go into a divorce without as much information as you can possibly gather. While looking into this, make sure you also know about local divorce laws and all of your rights.

Source: Forbes, "What I Wish I Knew Before My Divorce," Michael Smith, accessed May 03, 2016

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