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Why you should treat your divorce like a business deal

The new year always brings a large number of divorce filings. The head of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers says that divorces increase by 20 to 30 percent after the holidays.

For many couples, the decision has been a while in the making. However, they didn’t want to ruin the holidays for their kids and other family. Perhaps they thought some time spent together would help. In fact, it can have the opposite effect, particularly with the added stress that the holidays bring.

Family law attorneys have some advice for clients seeking their counsel after the first of the year. This advice is worthwhile regardless of when you initiate a divorce.

— Remember that divorce is largely a financial process. Therefore, you should approach it as calmly and rationally as a business deal because you’re going to be making some of the most important financial decisions of your life. ● Take the time to do some research and gather financial documents. Nevada is a community property state, so all marital property is split in half unless you have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement stating otherwise. When gathering documents, however, don’t open mail addressed only to your spouse. That can get you in trouble. Do note the financial institutions, brokerage firms and companies that are sending the information to provide your attorney.

— Don’t make the divorce more adversarial than it needs to be. That’s just going to end up costing more time and money. As the AAML president says, “The key is to avoid escalation.” You may not feel like being courteous or even respectful to your spouse, but it can be better for you in the long run.

— Finally, don’t file for divorce out of anger. The holidays may have brought up some issues and caused some tension, so your emotions may be raw. Be confident that this is what’s best for you and your children.

Even in a community property state like Nevada, when there are considerable assets at stake, divorce can be a complicated process. It’s essential to get experienced legal and financial advice to help ensure that you’re making wise decisions for your future.

Source: MarketWatch, “How to get the upper hand in your divorce,” Quentin Fottrell, Dec. 30, 2016

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