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How to be 'in the know' during a high asset divorce

Divorce is an emotional process that takes its toll on any Illinois resident who is in the midst of the process. As difficult as the emotions are, however, the legal and financial issues can be equally challenging to navigate. Indeed, during the litigation of a divorce, especially a high asset divorce, there is one issue that is often the most difficult to resolve: money.

Whether the argument involves spousal support, child support, debts or asset division, the issue of money is never easy to tackle. This is why it is essential for anyone going through a divorce to be completely aware of the state of his or her finances during the entire asset division process. Those who ignore the financial aspects tend to regret it later on down the line. So, what can one do to build this awareness?

Being more organized when it comes to financial matters is definitely important. Putting together one's financial documents and maintaining a file folder for every financial account is an excellent first step. Printing account statements that show balances before and after legal separation will also be of use. Being organized with one's financial documentation before it is required will help keep one from feeling overwhelmed when an item is suddenly required.

The benefit of having one's financial situation organized and understanding it will help individuals create and maintain a budget. This is especially helpful to those who have children and need to estimate living expenses and the incomes of both spouses for the purpose of determining the amount of child support. Next, one can open up new bank accounts in his or her own name after the date of separation, that way new funds earned that do not count as marital property will not be mixed up with community property money.

When facing the challenge of a high asset divorce and decisions about asset division, consider seeking professional assistance from a financial planner. Professional assistance can go a long way during the emotional time surrounding divorce proceedings, and it is often worth the price paid. When these issues are better organized, the legal -- and often stressful -- process of dividing assets often goes far smoother than one initially imagined.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Divorce Confidential: The Importance of Being Financially Savvy During Divorce" Caroline Choi, Apr. 21, 2014

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