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How to prepare for the aftermath of property division negotiation

When it comes to working through the financial aspects of a divorce, few things are more important than having a comprehensive budget in place. Far too many Maryland spouses move through the property division process without a clear idea of where they currently stand in a financial sense, much less where they need to be in the years to come. Understanding both current and projected expenses is key to reaching a settlement that is in line with one's needs, both now and in the future.

The best place to begin is by making a thorough assessment of all current expenses. This includes the basics of housing, utilities, food and other essentials. It also includes those expenses that are often overlooked, such as the cost of a child's activities, vehicle maintenance, home repairs and the multitude of incidental costs that rack up during any given month.

Next, take the time to create a projected budget for the years to come. Include costs that will likely rise after a divorce, such as having to purchase one's own insurance. It is also important to think about which tasks have been handled by the other partner, and to include costs associated with replacing those efforts. For example, if a spouse handled the bulk of landscaping or childcare, those needs will still have to be covered after a divorce, even if it is necessary to pay a professional.

Finally, Maryland residents should sit down and take a look at the information that has been compiled. This makes it easier to identify areas of concern, which are far more easily addressed during the early stages of divorce than after the process is complete. Structuring one's property division approach according to a comprehensive budget is the best way to achieve a successful outcome.

Source: nerdwallet.com, "7 Ways to Ready Your Finances for Divorce", Elizabeth Renter, May 30, 2017

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