Emotional reasons and personal dissatisfaction usually prompt divorces in Pennsylvania, but the process of ending a marriage requires significant financial planning. People who are ending their marriages might reduce their stress somewhat by collecting and organizing their financial records as thoroughly as possible. Financial disclosures during a divorce will include bank statements, investment records, tax returns, retirement savings and loan documents. Obtaining credit reports from the three major credit bureaus represents another important task. People could save on legal fees by preparing this information for themselves.

After getting a big picture of current finances, people can begin to think about what their income and assets will look like after marital property is divided. At this stage, people could reflect on their personal and financial goals for the future. This effort should include sketching out a post-divorce budget.

By evaluating their finances, people could gain the perspective necessary to have successful settlement negotiations. Decisions about whether or not to keep a family home could become clearer after considering expenses and savings goals. The advice of a financial adviser could also be appropriate, especially in regards to possible tax obligations that could result from a divorce settlement.

Legal advice can be appropriate as well. An attorney could inform a clientabout specific state laws that could determine things like how long people need to be separated before completing a divorce or the potential of receiving or having to pay alimony. Legal services could include preparing all paperwork for the court and guiding negotiations with the other party. An attorney might broker compromises over contentious issues like taking over marital debts.