Divorce American Style

The economy is on the rebound and many people are seeing the positive effects of the American economic recovery in their investment accounts. Good news…bad news! According to a study on Bloomberg.com, divorce filings fell to record lows during the Great Recession and are now on the rise. As we all know, divorces cost money. During the Recession, money was tight, assets balances were down, and many couples who would have otherwise gotten a divorce decided to consciously or unconsciously postpone their separation. With the economy on the rebound, fewer couples are deciding to stay together now that they feel they can afford to pay the bill, split their assets and support their separate lives.

If you are deciding to get divorced, take some time to do it right so that both parties come through to the other side in the best possible manner. Remember to consider all of your divorce options (i.e., mediation, collaborative law, litigation or plain old-fashioned do-it-yourself). Pull together all the information you need as efficiently as possible. Don’t just get any attorney; get a great attorney and don’t use your attorney as a therapist. Some of the professionals you should consider are: a mediator, an attorney (or two), a therapist (particularly if there are children) and a financial analyst. Building a team may seem like you are spending a lot of money upfront, but should actually save you money in the long run—well after the divorce papers are signed, filed and dusty.

Wondering where to begin on this painful topic? Check out the Foundation for Women’s Financial Education which is holding a series of workshops entitled “Second Saturdays.” These workshops are designed for women at any stage of untying the knot to help them better prepare for the complexities of divorce while avoiding common financial, legal and emotional pitfalls. Additional information can be found at WomensFinancialEducation.org