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Marital finances and the divorce process

On Behalf of | Jan 20, 2020 | High-asset Divorce

People in Illinois who are not knowledgeable about or involved in the family finances may be at a disadvantage during the divorce process. According to a survey by Fidelity Investments, it takes people around five years to recover emotionally and financially from divorce. However, the longest recovery was for people who did not participate in the day-to-day finances while they were married.

Many of them regretted taking this approach with 80% saying that after the divorce, they felt bad about this lack of involvement. It is also important to be involved in planning for long-term investments and retirement. While people generally do not enter a marriage anticipating divorce, a prenuptial agreement may be a good idea to identify what property will stay separate during the marriage and how any shared property may be divided. However, even couples who have a prenup may find that their finances get more complex after marriage. For example, an inheritance might be considered one person’s property, but putting it in a shared account could change that. A postnuptial agreement can address these issues.

Whether or not couples to decide to get a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, it is important to communicate honestly about finances. In the Fidelity survey, 14% of people said that during the divorce, they learned about hidden debt, and 10% discovered hidden assets.

In a high-asset divorce, the process of property division may be particularly complex. Property may include business interests, investments and valuable collections. It may be necessary to get appraisals for some property before it can be divided. If each person has an appraiser and the appraisers do not agree, this could further delay the process. However, even in complex financial situations, couples may be able to reach a divorce agreement without having to go to court.

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