3 Financial Questions To Address During A Divorce

Posted on: 5 March 2020

Dissolving a marriage, even if the two ex-partners are trying to handling things amicably, is rarely a simple process. A lot of financial questions come up in divorce law, and it's a good idea to think about them before getting into any paperwork or discussions. Here are three of the biggest questions you'll need to address during your divorce.

Dividing Up Property and Assets

Throughout a marriage, you and your ex probably accumulated a fair amount of stuff. That may include things like a house and vehicles. Likewise, there may be banking, savings, investment, and retirement accounts.

All of this stuff has to be assigned to someone. Each state takes a slightly different approach, but the two main systems hinge on how the state sees the ownership of things acquired during the marriage. In some states, items acquired during the marriage are automatically community property unless clearly shown to be otherwise. In other states, it's the reverse, with things assumed to belong to one person unless both names are clearly on the title or the account.

Similarly, the division of community property is a little different from state to state. Some states use a pure 50/50 split, while others use a standard of "equitable distribution," where things are divided according to fairness. If one partner has certain issues, such as a physical disability, an equitable distribution might end up giving them more.

Debts and Taxes

It's easy to focus on the assets, but debts get much the same treatment in terms of being divided up. One of the biggest concerns you should have upon filing a divorce is making sure accounts with both your names on them are closed as soon as possible. Otherwise, your partner could incur a debt and leave you on the hook for a good chunk of it.

Taxes tend to be a somewhat lighter problem because you're supposed to file jointly until the year that your divorce paperwork is finalized. Still, it's important to make sure you and your ex are square with the IRS and that any refund is split fairly.


Particularly for a less financially advantaged spouse, the first year or so following a divorce can be a challenge. Alimony should be set up, and child support should be, too, if there is a kid in the picture. A divorce attorney services firm can help you figure out what an appropriate support request will look like.