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Knowing financial situation important first step in divorce

Getting divorced is both an emotional and financial event. Because divorce typically involves two people who are angry and bitter, the entire process can be volatile. A couple of tips may help with navigating this complex type of family law proceeding in Montana.

First, it is critical to understand where all of the family's assets are and what they are. In addition, determining how these assets are owned is critical -- for instance, whether they are jointly owned or belong to either spouse. Other important information to gather includes the family's expenses and income, as well as the assets that each party brought into the marriage.

Then, making a list of all items that one finds important can be helpful for the negotiation process. These include real estate, retirement plan funds and pension plans as well as stock options and furniture. Communicating one's preferences regarding what happens with the children and with the pets early on may also be beneficial. Pets, however, are deemed property, so they might not be subject to the same shared custody or visitation rights that children are.

Getting a divorce in Montana can understandably be stressful and overwhelming because of the many areas that have to be addressed. However, if a couple is willing to try to find common ground at the negotiation table or during mediation, they may be able to reach a mutually satisfactory settlement. Otherwise, they will have to rely on a judge to determine for them how their divorce matters will ultimately be addressed.

Source:, "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do: Understanding Divorce", Dee Lee, Aug. 28, 2017

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