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Divorce has a high emotional impact on you. Your awareness of your financial position is extremely important at this cross road of your life. You want to be able to move forward with a solid footing for your financial future.
A complete monthly budget should have about 120 items. If yours does not have as many, you are probably forgetting something. Did you include your health insurance deductible, painting the exterior of your home (recommended every 5 years) and money to remove a fallen tree from your yard?
House appraisal minus mortgage balance does not equal equity to be divided between spouses. If you will keep the house, have a home inspection prior to signing the divorce papers to determine if expensive repairs are necessary. Did you remember to subtract the projected expenses needed to get the house ready to put on the market or closing costs from the value you assign the house?
If you want to stay in the marital home, you should consider more than just the mortgage, taxes and insurance expenses when reviewing your housing expenses. Often times the home is a barren asset that will not produce any real income until it is sold. The equity figure for the home might look good on paper but that is all it is, on paper.
Attorneys are best utilized for legal matters. It is amazing how fast your legal bill can grow as a result of a few quick phone calls. Ask your attorney how they bill for their time and use it wisely. Rely on your attorney for legal advice. Discussing your emotional state with your attorney may allow you to vent, but it is a very expensive therapy session.
It is recommended that you hire a CPA to complete your tax return the first year after your divorce. This will ensure that it is the return is done properly and you receive all deductions for which you qualify. Your divorce may finally be over, but the tax effects can continue for years.
The grounds to file a complaint for a legal separation are the same as for a divorce. The court can address child custody, visitation, support, and property issues during legal separation upon motion by either party or by agreement of the parties. The court has the power to grant an absolute divorce to either party if there has been an order of legal separation for more than two years, the parties have not reconciled, and either party files a petition for an absolute divorce.
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