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Considering divorce? Make sure to examine your assets

These days, it is not unusual for married individuals in Gig Harbor to find that, whether they were married only a few years or they were married for many years, that their marriage is crumbling and is not longer sustainable. When this happens they may seek a divorce, and part of the divorce process is the division of assets. Part of the property division process is having a good understanding of what comprises your marital assets, so the division of these assets can be done fairly.

One thing to consider is how each spouse contributed financially to the marriage. For example, what types of bank accounts or retirement accounts are there? Who has title to these accounts? It is important to know what the passwords are to these accounts, particularly if they have recently been changed.

In addition, it can help to maintain a file of important documents. For example, one should have a copy of bank account and retirement account statements. Copies of your tax returns are also important to retain. In addition, if a couple owns a home or other types of real estate, the paperwork associated with these types of property should also be obtained. Once you obtain copies of these documents, keep them in a safe place outside the home. Moreover, you may want to obtain a copy of your credit report, so you can see what property is jointly owned and what is separate.

Some types of accounts have beneficiaries named to them. Some examples of these types of accounts are life insurance accounts, accounts created for your child's college expenses and retirement accounts. First of all, you may want to change beneficiaries to someone other than your ex. If you choose to change the beneficiaries to a minor child, you may want to appoint a guardian to represent the child's interests.

Finally, if you are seeking a divorce you need to decide whether to keep a joint credit card account until the divorce is completed. If you do, you can see what your spouse is purchasing on that account. If you are concerned about the expenditures your spouse is making on a credit card, it may be possible to freeze the account.

These are only some steps to take financially if divorce is on the horizon. An attorney may be able to provide additional legal advice, which this post cannot do.

Source: The Huffington Post, "The Divorce To-Do List," Kyung (Kathryn) Dickerson, March 8, 2016

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