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3 ways to improve the outcome of a divorce settlement

When it comes to divorce in Alaska, many couples may be so caught up in the emotional side, they do not give much importance to property division until after the ink is dry on their divorce decrees. They assume that they can have their settlement agreements amended if they realize they are unfavorable. Though it is possible to amend divorce settlements, stipulations apply. Amendments are also difficult to get. It is better for couples to fight for a favorable settlement while they are in the divorce process

Dividing marital property is not easy. Many couples find it challenging to separate their finances after mixing them during their marriages. Here are some ways to make the division of marital property easier. 

1. Eliminate joint debt 

Separation and divorce do not absolve couples of their joint debts. Creditors and debt collection can legally demand payment of joint debts from either partner, regardless of if they are still together or not. It is not uncommon for a partner to stop paying on joint debts to cause the ex-partner financial problems that can interfere with the ability to provide for him or herself and dependents. Before divorce, couples should pay down as much marital debt as possible. 

2. Keep copies of all financial records 

Divorcing couples must disclose all personal and marital assets. This may require them to go through past and present financial records and activities to determine if their spouses are hiding assets. Each partner should provide their attorneys with copies of their financial records and keep one for themselves. 

3. Prevent misuse of joint accounts 

Couples should work out an agreement regarding the use of credit accounts. They should monitor those accounts and avoid using them without the approval of their partners. If both of them rely on their joint accounts for support, include stipulations on their use. Ideally, both parties should open individual accounts. 

The more marital property a couple has, the more challenging dividing it up can be. Couples who are thinking about divorce should speak to their attorneys to learn strategies to help them achieve favorable property settlements.

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