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Methodology For Knowing If You Will Be OK Financially?

So many times people get caught up in simply determining what percentage of assets that they should receive in the divorce process. They become so focused on that number that they lose sight of the overall financial picture and their true financial needs. Do not make that mistake. It is can be very misleading, shortsighted and potentially injurious.

Yes, one of the main questions is always, "How much of the marital estate can I and should I receive?" But, an analysis of your situation should and must go a step further than that initial question. The concern should not only be what is the correct percent distribution to each spouse, but also what are the most appropriate assets for each party to acquire?

During the financial evaluation process several issues need to be critiqued. Should you receive personal or retirement plan assets? If you are choosing to remain in the house, can you afford to? What are your cash flow needs? What are possible tax consequences and/or penalties when receiving certain assets? What are both spouses earning potential? What are child support and alimony considerations? And, what is the most equitable percent division of assets?

All of these questions are answered by utilizing financial projections. Projections not only evaluate your present situation, but more importantly, they illustrate how you fare financially in the future. Several scenarios usually have to be evaluated before an appropriate settlement is determined.

Financial projections do not replace legal advice. However, they are an imperative adjunct resource to you, your attorney and/or mediator. Your attorney/mediator can utilize the financial projections in the negotiation process. You may not receive the exact settlement that was illustrated, but it will allow both parties to see how they fare and to assist in determining what is the most appropriate equitable settlement. Your other option is to guess and hope you will be ok financially, and thatís just not good enough.

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The Pennsylvania court may decide to order both spouses to attend an orientation for mediation or counseling. Mediation may resolve issues outside of court. The court tells the parties what issues need to be addressed in the sessions (for example, child custody, child support or division of property). The court cannot order mediation if there have been any allegations of domestic violence or child abuse within the past two years.
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