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Couples ending a marriage have financial decisions to make

Divorcing couples in Georgia already have a lot to deal with emotionally, but remembering a few tips early on could reduce stress and eliminate headaches later. Ending a marriage can put both parties in a different tax bracket, and preparing for that as soon as possible can help avoid a shock at tax time. The preparation process can include making decisions on joint debts and assets, how employment income could affect alimony payments, and child custody issues.

Gathering financial information can help both parties keep a proper perspective on how closely money and the legal implications of divorce are tied together. Georgia's equitable distribution law means the judge does not necessarily split a divorcing couple's assets 50/50 down the middle. Property owned by either party before the marriage will revert back to that person, but anything acquired during the relationship is subject to equitable distribution. A number of factors can come into play when determining what is fair and equitable.

If the husband is a high-wage earner and the wife has custody of the children, the court may order a higher monthly amount for child support. Other issues to consider are paying off joint debt, establishing separate lines of credit, and opening separate bank accounts. It is also important to update life insurance, health insurance, and dental insurance policies.

If there is a previous bankruptcy on record for the couple, a family law attorney can provide counsel on how it could affect a client after the divorce. Situations can change over time, and if the ex-husband loses his job later, he may need to go back to court and ask for a modification of an existing spousal or child support order.

Source: The Courier of Montgomery County , "Financial items to consider during a divorce", June 21, 2014

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