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Considerations before filing for divorce

Many Arizonans who want to divorce in 2016 may choose to file shortly after Jan. 1 so that they can start their new year with a fresh start. Without careful planning, however, rushing a divorce may make the process more difficult.

One of the most important steps a person can take is to make certain that they truly want to divorce and that they understand the kinds of financial effects this action will have on them. It's a good idea for people to see both a psychologist and financial planner to make certain that a divorce is what they want.

They should then gather copies of all of their financial documents. This is important because they might have more difficulty getting copies of them from a spouse after they file. Looking at account balances, retirement funds and life insurance policies is also important. People should understand that their assets will be divided after the divorce. Beneficiaries to retirement accounts and life insurance cannot be changed until after the divorce is final; however, individuals may want to think about who they will name instead of their spouse later on.

Divorce can be a life-altering event, and couples should make certain they fully understand how it will affect them. People may want to consult with a family law attorney during the divorce process. An attorney may help them by explaining how retirement and investment accounts are likely to be divided through the asset division portion of their divorce orders. Since attorneys are removed from the emotional conflict of dissolving a marriage, they may be better able to negotiate an agreement with a client's spouse.

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