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Seven tips to consider when going through a divorce

When going through a divorce there is a lot to think about and consider. Your friends tell you one thing and Google tells you another. Here are few things to consider before making any final decisions.

1. Think about the kids

This may be one of the more important things to consider when thinking about or going through a divorce. Even if your children are older, this is still an emotional time and difficult transition for them too.

Fighting for sole custody rights can put your children in a difficult spot where they may feel they have to choose between parents. Seeing parents fight and argue is never an easy burden to bear. Come to a reasonable agreement. Consider what is best for your kids, what they would want and an agreement that will work for both of you. 

2. Don't be bitter

Divorce can become a battleground very easily. Being civil and polite is the best route to take. You don't have to be friends, but you should be cordial. This is an emotional time for both of you; it doesn't need to be made more difficult by being bitter and angry with one another.

3. Plan on a smaller retirement fund

For the most part, you can expect everything to be cut in half, including your retirement funds. This also includes pensions, but excludes social security benefits.

4. If you feel you deserve something, just ask

You have to ask for things that you want. You shouldn't ever feel embarrassed or afraid to ask for any support from your spouse. Something for men to consider is manimony, alimony for men. Many stay-at-home dads aren't aware that they are entitled to receive spousal support.

5. Ask yourself what you want in assets, and sometimes what you'll end up with

If you want the house, this means you'll have to give up something else. This can mean sacrificing alimony payments or receiving less from the retirement fund. You also have to consider what comes with the house, like property taxes and maintenance. Make sure you are considering everything when deciding which assets you want in the settlement.

Also, consider debts. Debts are can be split in half, so if your spouse has debts or credit card payments those burdens can be shared as well.

6. Consider taxable assets

Various assets are taxable. These should be taken into consideration when making settlement agreements if you want to avoid tax payments. If you are receiving alimony, you are subject to pay taxes. However, if you are paying alimony this is considered a tax deduction. Do note that child support is very different from alimony and is not taxable nor a tax deduction.

If you are splitting the family business, buy out money is taxable. Property settlements are not taxed. However, you can be taxed on the sale of a property.

7. Hire an attorney

An attorney who practices family law and is experienced in divorce cases will offer guidance and assistance. An attorney can help mediate the process and smooth issues out so it doesn't turn into a court battle. It is important to know when a good deal is presented and if you are receiving your full share of benefits. Your attorney can help you reach a fair and equal settlement agreement.

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