Kajko, Weisman & Colasanti, LLP

Don't spend all those marital assets at one time

People in Massachusetts may have seen a recent self-help article about the temptation that people may feel to go out and spend a bunch of money on things to make them feel better during or after a divorce. In short, the moral of the story is this: don't do it! While the beginning of a new life is something to celebrate, people need to be careful to keep their finances in order, since adjusting to a new budget and new circumstances is not always an easy thing.

Massachusetts family law requires couples to split their marital property, which is generally all property accumulated by either party during the course of the marriage, in an equitable fashion. While it doesn't have to be a 50/50 split, it does have to be generally fair. Some people may choose to keep certain assets, such as the family house or a car, after a divorce, but some people may prefer liquid assets or cash as their part of the property division. Each side has its pitfalls; for instance, divorcees who take the house might have a hard time making mortgage payments without their ex-spouses' income, but those spouses who decide to take the cash might have a hard time hanging on to the money.

It is human nature to seek comfort after a traumatic experience, and divorce is one of the most painful things a person can go through during his or her life, but the manner in which people get that comfort can sometimes lead to financial trouble. Many people spend money on feel-good purchases or one big splurge, but odds are you might need that money for something more important sooner than later.

When budgeting for a divorce, people should make sure they have enough money to support themselves in the form of several months of living expenses. During the divorce, people should be able to work out a property division plan that gives them what they deserve and need to live a successful single life, as long as they don't spend their assets frivolously.

Source: Huffington Post "Did You Financially Self-Soothe After Your Divorce?" Diane L. Danois, May 21, 2013

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