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How can Virginians prepare for the financial aspects of divorce?

Divorce involves not just the unraveling of a personal relationship, but also a financial relationship. Virginia couples seeking to end their marriage will face financial and property issues that must be resolved before they can part ways. Property division is a major focus of many divorces, and its outcome can affect a spouse well after the divorce has concluded. It can help to keep a few points in mind when it comes to the financial aspects of divorce.

For example, when preparing for a divorce, it is important to collect all the necessary financial records and paperwork. This includes bank account statements, Social Security statements, record of payments on major assets, receipts for any improvements made on the family home, retirement account statements, tax information and paystubs. These documents can be useful for negotiating a settlement. In the property division process, all of a person’s assets, liabilities and sources of income must be made known to the other party.

In addition, it is important that joint accounts are not left open once the divorce decree is signed. One spouse might have assumed the debt on a loan or credit account that was jointly held, but if both parties’ names remain on the account, both are still responsible. So, if the spouse retaining the account fails to make a payment, the other spouse could still be on the hook for the debt. After a divorce, the spouse retaining the account should transfer the debt to a new account in his or her name only, closing the joint account.

As this shows, it is important to be prepared to handle the financial aspects of divorce. This includes not just preparing for the property division process, but also understanding how that process will affect you in the long-run. Those facing complex asset issues will want to ensure they understand what is required of them before making any decisions regarding their divorce.

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