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How to prepare for divorce settlement negotiations

There are many things that need to be considered when negotiating a financial settlement during a divorce. However, the stress of a separation could prevent a person from negotiating the fairest settlement possible. The best way to negotiate rationally is to prepare before the process even starts.

Understanding one's full financial situation is particularly important in regards to a high-asset divorce, which can involve many decisions to make over investments, real estate and accounts. To begin preparing, a person should make a list of the family's assets, including who holds ownership titles. In order to have a complete list, some assets might need to be professionally appraised or evaluated. Assets to list include pension plans and other employee benefits such as stock options and 401(k) plans as well as real estate and investment accounts. Knowing the value of each investment is necessary, particularly if any of the assets need to be sold.

Another part of the preparation is future financial planning. This includes figuring out the basic amount needed to pay for all living expenses and to live comfortably. Additionally, the person should also determine income sources and understand the importance of dividing assets. Part of this planning should include the future financial obligations for any children the couple might have.

Planning ahead is the best way to ensure that future financial needs will be met and that each person will move forward with their lives feeling financially stable. A family law lawyer might offer guidance during the planning and divorce process and help to ensure a fair divorce settlement.

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