While marriage is a huge emotional investment, divorce is one of the biggest legal and financial transactions of a person's life. Because divorce often involves two bitter people, it has a way of being a highly sensitive, volatile process.
- There are more than 2 million marriages in the U.S. each year, and nearly 40% of them end in divorce.
- For second marriages, the divorce rates is 67%.
- In third marriages, 74% of them end in divorce.
- The average age of first marriages that end in divorce is 30.
Most people don't go into their first marriage thinking that they will be ending it one day, but when you realize divorce is on the horizon, you should do some serious planning. If you are the spouse that doesn't handle the finances in your family, you should be taking a close look at the spouse that does.
Marriage is more than an emotional partnership, it's a financial partnership. So, this is what you need to become familiar with right away:
- Understand your family's assets, what they are and where they are.
- How are the assets held? Jointly? His or hers?
- What is the family's annual income?
- What are the family's monthly expenses?
- Do you have separate property? What is it?
- What assets did your spouse bring to the marriage?
When divorcing, use a divorce attorney, not the one who filed your car accident claim. Don't use the same financial planner as your spouse, and don't use the same lawyer.
Consider mediation before litigation, it will save you a lot of money and will give you more control over the outcome of your divorce – not to mention it's less stressful and better for the kids to have parents who are not locked in a court battle.
Sit down and make a list of what's important to you and how you want to share these things, such as children, your house, assets, retirement and pension plans, automobiles, collectibles, furniture and pets. Remember, pets are considered property and are not subject to shared custody or visitation rights.
Getting a divorce? Contact us for a free consultation with a Los Angeles divorce attorney!