Divorce is a time of turbulence and upheaval in most people’s lives with long-lasting consequences. One way Arizona residents who are going through this process can prevent a negative impact in the future is by being proactive about their financial planning.

There are some specific things to plan for when beginning divorce proceedings. The first is to evaluate the financial situation and what life will look like financially when the split is done. This means making a budget that includes expenses such as housing, utilities, food, health, transportation and debt that must be paid off. It is important to note that lenders can hold a person responsible even when his or her ex-spouse was the one who took out the loan.

Retirement planning is also important at this time since the future might look drastically different than during marriage. Saving for retirement should be a priority, including maxing out retirement savings in 401(k) plans. In some cases, a person might also qualify for his or her ex-spouse’s social security benefits if they had been married for 10 years and the individual has not remarried. During this time, it is also important to review all beneficiary forms and update them, including life insurance and retirement policies as well as those forms that give power of attorney in health care and financial matters in case of an emergency. Divorce is a time to confront the financial reality, consider the upcoming changes and define new financial goals.

Financial planning during divorce is complex but necessary. Residents who are going through this process might find the support and guidance of a divorce lawyer reassuring. An attorney can explain how state legislation works, what forms need to be filed, what steps need to be taken during the process and help people plan for their financial future.