Going through a divorce can be an expensive process. A report from Fidelity Investments shows that it usually takes about five years for a person to recover from this financial blow. Pennsylvania residents may be interested in some preventative measures they can take to protect their finances in case of divorce.

The same report from Fidelity Investments showed that 80% of respondents regretted the fact that they were not more involved in their family’s finances. A good way to avoid that regret is by paying attention to the household finances and getting involved. Knowledge is power, so each partner should have knowledge of the family’s financial situation from the beginning. No matter who does the investments or pays the bills, each partner should have access to tax returns, bank accounts and retirement balances.

It may be difficult for a married couple to talk about money. However, avoiding the subject can lead to many problems. The study revealed that about 14% of individuals discovered debt during their divorce that they knew nothing about. Transparency regarding finances during a marriage is essential. When a couple can build a strong support network and have regular financial discussions, there will be fewer marital problems and fewer surprises later on.

Signing a prenuptial agreement before a marriage can protect the finances each individual owns. A postnuptial agreement can be signed during the marriage to protect finances that are acquired together.

The idea of marriage being like a business relationship may not be romantic. However, dealing with finances is an important aspect of marriage. An attorney may be able to help a person get answers to their questions about divorce, dividing debts and assets and other legal aspects of dividing finances at the end of a marriage. The attorney may also help a client draft a postnuptial agreement or other documents.