Decisions that will make a difference to you financially will be front and center during the property division phase of your divorce.
From retirement accounts to health insurance, here are issues you should prepare to resolve during property division.
Keeping your home
The marital home often has significant sentimental value during a divorce. You may wish to keep it given the memories it holds. However, keep in mind that you will face a different budget following the divorce. A house requires upkeep, and you will likely have to pay the mortgage as well as property taxes. The expenses of maintaining the family home could prove to be a drain on your finances.
Splitting retirement accounts
Do not try to split your retirement accounts without guidance. Certain accounts such as a 401(k) require the proper court orders.
Managing a QDRO
If you must transfer an interest in a pension or other retirement plan, you will need a Qualified Domestic Relations Order or QDRO. Issued by the court, this is a legal document that advises the plan administrator that a former spouse or another relative may receive a certain portion of the plan assets.
Choosing health insurance
After the divorce, you will likely no longer qualify for inclusion in the healthcare plan of your soon-to-be-ex. Explore your options for new coverage including the use of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, or COBRA, as a temporary plan.
One final tip is to avoid going on a shopping spree ahead of your divorce. Only purchase the things you need. The court may regard any lavish spending as an advance on your share of the assets during property division.