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The complexities of dividing financial assets in divorce

When you file for divorce, there are a million feelings running through you, as well as a million thoughts running through your head. It's an emotional and stressful time, and that can cause many people to rush through some very important issues related to their divorce. One of the most important of these issues is property division, and, more specifically, the division of financial assets.

A checking or savings account is just the beginning of the financial assets that could be involved in your property division discussions. There are investments and businesses that the two of your may share. There are retirement plans, stocks and bonds that the two of you may have. There are pensions and insurance policies that the two of you may have a right to.

All of these things can prove to be hugely valuable -- and they can also prove to be huge stumbling blocks. So for any couple that is going through a divorce, it is important that both spouses get organized and take stock of what kind of assets they have. Once you know what is on the chopping block, you and your family law attorney can discuss how you want to approach certain assets.

Remember that even when a financial asset seems like it may be very valuable and important for you, there could be taxes or financial regulations that make the asset impractical for you. Be prepared to have some complex discussion with your attorney, and your soon-to-be-ex, to sort out your property division situation.

Source: Wall Street Journal, "If Divorcing, Divide Investments With Care," Lisa Ward, April 6, 2014

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