What financial decisions will I have to make during a divorce in Massachusetts?

money divorce calculations

While most people are eager to get through the divorce process as quickly as possible to move on to the next phase of their lives, rushing through critical decisions regarding the terms that will apply to the termination of the marriage can result in an unfavorable outcome. Therefore, ensuring your emotions do not cloud your judgment when making financial decisions is imperative. If you’re facing a divorce, it is in your best interest to contact our adept Bristol County Contested Divorce Lawyers, who can help you safeguard your financial security. 

What are some financial considerations I should keep in mind during a divorce in Massachusetts?

When couples go through a divorce, they often neglect to realize how different their expenses will be now that they are on their own. The prominent financial consideration couples should consider when divorcing is developing a stricter budget. If your costs were split, you will have to learn how to manage these expenses based on your income alone. It’s crucial to avoid disregarding the importance of budgeting, as failure can lead to serious financial problems in the future.

When navigating a divorce, it is paramount to prioritize your future financial security. Property division is often a contentious issue between couples, given their hard-earned assets are at stake. The financial decisions you make about your marital assets and liabilities are critical in ensuring your financial stability after the divorce. Therefore, you should determine what you own. You should consider what assets may be subject to equitable distribution to anticipate what you may be obligated to receive or entitled to retain sole ownership. Assets will be presumed to be marital property unless proved otherwise as separate property. Distinguishing separate and marital property is crucial to ensure your former spouse does not receive a share of your personal property. In addition, it’s an important step to ensure you receive a fair share of your marital property during property distribution.

Another financial consideration you should consider is how to divide your primary residence. Determining who keeps the house can be a difficult decision. However, most couples are better off selling the home and splitting the proceeds. If you want to keep the family home, you must consider the cost. Staying in your current home would be expensive as you will assume all financial responsibility over the expenses associated with upkeeping the home. Before fighting tooth and nail to keep your family home, consider whether you can afford to do so.

What is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO)?

Furthermore, it would be best to consider how you will divide your retirement plans, as they are integral to your future financial security. While most retirement assets are subject to equitable distribution, they are split equally; that is not always the case. If funds in a retirement account were accumulated before the marriage, they may be considered separate property. Therefore, if your spouse collected the funds before the marriage, you may not be entitled to a share of their retirement assets. As such, you should remember that you can request a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), an agreement that transfers assets in a retirement plan or IRA to an ex-spouse’s retirement account. Requesting a QDRO can help ensure your financial security in the future.

If you need help navigating your divorce, contact The Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C. today for a consultation. Our firm is prepared to represent your interests today.