An Amicable (as Possible) Divorce

By Amanda Kish, CFA, CFP®

Divorce is never easy, but Amanda offers her advice on how to emerge from your divorce with your wits, and your wallet, as intact as possible. In this episode, she presents Five Tips for Having an Amicable Divorce, based on her own personal experience and her expertise as a financial planner. (See Amanda's Bio)

Amanda’s rules for an amiable divorce include

  1. Remember that divorce is a business transaction. Leave your emotions at the door and focus on what is best for your long-term financial goals.
  2. Explore all possible options for managing the divorce process, including mediation and/or collaborative divorce before jumping to a litigated divorce. Doing so can help you potentially avoid thousands of dollars in legal fees.
  3. Gather documentation and get everything in writing. Don’t leave any important details of your separation as a verbal agreement – having details documented in writing will help prevent problems or misunderstandings in the future.
  4. Be prepared to give your financial life a divorce makeover – close all joint accounts, check your credit report, update your estate plan, change beneficiaries on all your investment accounts and pensions, change beneficiaries on any life insurance policies, and decide on your new tax filing status.
  5. Don’t neglect your emotional well-being in this process. Develop a support system of friends and family and don’t be afraid to seek out professional help from a licensed therapist.

Please note that Amanda is not a lawyer and neither she nor Motley Fool Wealth Management can provide legal advice. Couples should seek formal legal advice when considering divorce.

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