When people in Pennsylvania decide to divorce, they may struggle with the complicated emotional, legal and financial aspects of the end of a marriage. While divorce rates have declined from around half of all marriages to around 39%, separating can be financially devastating, especially for couples who have amassed significant assets. It is important for both parties to understand the family finances comprehensively in order to make sure that they are receiving a fair settlement in the property division process. There are specialized financial advisers who can work along with a divorce attorney to examine financial records and make recommendations.

Each person should compile a complete list of family assets and the sums involved, including retirement funds, investment accounts and regular savings and checking accounts. Even pensions from each partner’s job should be included in this process. It is also important to understand both parties’ income, and pay stubs, tax returns and other items can help to get the information needed. During property division, debt is divided as well as assets, so spouses should make sure to get copies of their credit reports, credit card bills, mortgage documents and other information.

Even after the divorce is over and the settlement has been negotiated, people may face difficulties adjusting to a single budget. It is often more expensive to pay for two single lives on the amount of money that went to fund one shared lifestyle, so both former spouses may need to plan to cut down on costs.

It can be important for people to protect their financial interests when going through a divorce. A family law attorney may help a client negotiate a fair settlement on major issues, including asset division and spousal support.