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Handling financial matters during a divorce

For many California divorcing couples, facing the future may seem scary. This is particularly true if one spouse handled all the couple's financial affairs, or if both spouses had a lot of debt.

During divorce proceedings, many people have various financial aspects to settle. Perhaps they have a home and they need to decide if they should sell it or keep it. One spouse may have a large retirement account, while the other one does not. These decisions may be complicated because of the emotional stress of the divorce. Friends and family members can also add to the stress by giving confusing and negative advice that is based on feelings and not from a legal standpoint.

While these circumstances can leave people feeling financially unsure of their future, it may be a good opportunity to rebuild their finances. To begin with, they might consider selling their family home, especially if they cannot afford the mortgage or the upkeep. Otherwise, the home may prove to be a financial burden result in more debts. Once the home is sold, and the equity is divided, however, the person can concentrate on paying off any debts and downsizing to make it possible to live in a way that fits his or her budget.

A great deal of couples going through a divorce may face difficulties regarding their debts and the division of their marital assets, especially since California is a community property state. Then there are other issues to deal with, such as retirement savings funds, pensions and stock options. For these reasons, the estranged spouses might wish to contact separate family law attorneys for assistance with the divorce process in a way that could prove mutually agreeable to both parties.

Source: USA Today, "Divorce decision: Keep the house or sell it?", Peter Dunn, Aug. 6, 2016

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