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Suggestions for your upcoming divorce

The adversarial nature of divorce -- pitting former loved ones against one another -- often calls for strategy. This is particularly true in cases of complex asset divorce because one or both spouses may have a lot invested in the marriage in the form of property and wealth. When the marriage has turned sour and all that is left is the property, a spouse may become an entirely different person.

Experts in the divorce field often have suggestions about how to go about a divorce. The first -- and potentially most important -- piece of advice is to gather up all documentation of you and your spouse's finances. This includes statements for bank accounts, retirement accounts and investment funds. It also includes tax returns, insurance policies, real estate records, wills, trusts and perhaps more. Many high asset divorces have all of this and more, often leaving the spouses flustered and intimidated by their separation and the surrounding procedures.

Lawyers can be extremely important in such cases. Without an attorney, a spouse looking to file for divorce may go about it all wrong and find that they have received the bad end of the divorce settlement. Legal professionals that specialize in divorce can help you create a legal strategy and keep a wary eye out for any misconduct on the other party's end. By filing a divorce first, an individual has the chance of having her or his divorce team already set up and ready to go.

Speaking of misconduct, some spouses will try to hide assets from the court. This is one reason that some experts suggest being the first person to file for the divorce so that the other spouse cannot store certain belongings away. Though she or he may still try to do so, it may be more likely that they will get caught once proceedings have started.

Source: Forbes, "What Are The Financial And Legal Advantages Of Being First To File For Divorce?," Jeff Landers, March 26, 2013

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