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Preparing for the unexpected, including divorce

Happily married couples in Georgia may not expect divorce to happen to them, but financial experts say it could still be a good idea to be prepared for the possibility of marriage ending, just in case. Preparing for a divorce that is not expected could be viewed in the same light as preparing for other unexpected events such as house fires, accidents or job losses.

Finances are sometimes a closed subject in marriages, and this can lead to difficulties during the divorce process. Open discussion between spouses about finances and equal involvement by both in financial decisions is recommended by financial advisers. They suggest that each spouse be aware of what is being purchased, be familiar with all debts and be involved in tax return preparations.

It is also advised that all married partners understand their state's laws regarding marital property. In equitable property states such as Georgia, marital property is divided fairly, but not necessarily equally, in a divorce. An understanding of how separately-owned property can become marital property, such as by commingling, can be helpful as well.

If the couple has not yet gotten married, a prenuptial agreement is an option that could make a potential divorce proceeding easier, but they are sometimes complicated. The assistance of a lawyer in understanding the terms of a prenuptial agreement is recommended before signing or agreeing to anything.

An important part of the divorce process in Georgia is discovery. This is the process during which information is obtained from both spouses. This information can come from the spouses themselves, banks or other financial institutions, or from other third parties. Being familiar with financial, legal and business information during marriage, even when divorce is not expected, can make the process go more smoothly should it ever occur.

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