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Getting a fresh post-divorce start with a new financial team

Some California spouses are perfectly happy to let their life partner handle all things financial during the course of their marriage. While there's nothing wrong with this arrangement, it could become a problem when a dependent spouse becomes a newly single individual with unique financial needs. Those needs may not be met if existing financial experts normally dealt with marital assets from the point of view of the other spouse.

A key team member a spouse may want to bring on board during a divorce is a financial adviser. This is the person who is often able to determine if a spouse can afford to keep the marital home. If a dependent spouse is older, retirement needs may be taken into consideration when determining how to allocate income and assets. Post-settlement, an adviser can confirm that all financial accounts an ex-spouse is entitled to have been properly transferred. They may also recommend changing beneficiary designations on life insurance and retirement accounts to remove the ex's name.

A certified public accountant can help a dependent spouse evaluate the tax consequences associated with certain assets. A CPA may also review a settlement agreement to make sure agreed upon asset divisions won't result in significant tax penalties. Advice can also be given on which tax filing status to use and child tax credit considerations. Some divorcing spouses may benefit from the services of a forensic accountant, especially if there's a need to know which assets are in which spouse's name and where a dependent spouse stands with their credit health and debt obligations.

During the end of a marriage, a divorce attorney may recommend adding an estate planning attorney to the team of professionals discussed above to make appropriate adjustments with wills and other estate documents. An attorney can also serve as the coordinator of the financial team to make sure everyone is on the same page with a client's objectives.

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