The end of a marriage can bring about a myriad of difficult emotions. In Washington State and all across the country, ending a marriage can also be a costly experience. The process of divorce can wreak havoc on personal finances. However, there are certain things like dividing property and assets that can be done early on that can save money and complications later.

Two of the most common assets of former spouses are property and pensions. Dividing these can sometimes be complicated. With pensions, these are usually divided two ways: pension sharing and pension offsetting. In pension sharing, one party can receive a percentage share of their former spouse’s pension. In pension offsetting, the party originally receiving a pension keeps it, but the value of the pension is offset against another asset, usually the home.

The most common asset to be divided in most divorces is the marital home. How the home is divided depends on if it was owned jointly or individually. Most commonly, the home is sold and the money is split evenly if the home was jointly owned. This is also a good time to review legal documents such as wills and life insurance policies.

Deciding to end a marriage can begin a difficult and exhausting process. Dividing property and assets can definitely add confusion to an already tumultuous experience. Fortunately, there is help available for those in Washington who have recently decided to divorce. A skilled and knowledgeable lawyer could help individuals navigate through this difficult and often confusing experience.

Source: cityam.com, “Divorce and financial planning“, Henry Brennan, March 16, 2018