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Expenses, Expenses, Expenses

And Then There's Your Ex

Divorce can be devastating to your financial situation, there's no question about it. (Read Changes in Your Marital Status on the financial implications of divorce.) Know, however, that there are ways to make divorce less financially detrimental for both parties. The catch is that you've both got to be willing to cooperate to make it happen.

If you've had an ugly divorce, it might be difficult to work with your ex on anything—including your financial situation. If you keep in mind, though, that you may benefit from cooperating, you'll probably find it easier to do so.

We probably can think of divorce situations that ended in financial hardship for one or both partners. The husband and wife may have fought bitterly throughout the process, hiring lawyers, private investigators, and other professionals without any regard to the cost. Or, perhaps they couldn't agree on any financial, custody, or property matter, dragging out the proceedings and running up huge bills in the process.

Divorce proceedings can occur in an orderly manner, and much of the need for professionals can be eliminated if both partners are willing to cooperate. If you're in a divorce situation, it's important to understand that the cost of legal proceedings can chew up a big chunk of your financial assets.

And once divorced, you could end up paying alimony and child support that will further impact upon your financial situation. Divorce often is inevitable, and we'd never urge you to stay in a bad marriage for the sake of your finances. Resolving to settle a divorce as amicably and cleanly as possible, however, can impact positively on your net worth—and that of your ex.

Once you've determined all your assets, along with your liabilities, you can start getting a handle on your net worth. Your net worth is the indicator of your overall financial situation.

More on: Family Finances


Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Personal Finance in Your 40s and 50s © 2002 by Sarah Young Fisher and Susan Shelly. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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