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Divorcing spouses need to know financial picture

Many Pennsylvania couples know they're likely to need separate legal representation to help them through the process of divorce. Some may not realize, however, that having a financial adviser can be just as beneficial, especially if the couple's financial picture is complicated.

Dividing marital property can be as emotionally taxing as the divorce itself. It therefore becomes important for a spouse to know as much as possible about the other spouse's finances as well as making a list of all property obtained during the marriage. They should realize that what they want financially from the marriage may not be the same as what the court says they are entitled to. They should also terminate any joint financial accounts immediately and open up new accounts in their name only. They should also change the password for any online accounts.

Child custody and support are other key financial issues that often need to be resolved. This includes determining which parent the child will live with and who pays child support. Couples also need to decide who is going to pay their children's higher education expenses. The spouse who will have the children living with them also should be familiar with Pennsylvania's child support laws so they'll have an idea of how much support they'll get.

Dividing marital property can be complex, If there is any part of the financial picture a divorcing person doesn't understand, they may wish to discuss the matter with their family law attorney. The larger the marital estate, the more there may be a need for outside advice in ensuring an equitable division.

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