When you’re smack in the middle of a divorce, it’s hard to think objectively – but when it comes to your future finances, that’s exactly what you need to do.

It can feel impossible to put your emotions aside, even for a moment, when you’re stuck in that limbo, and everything feels like a battle. It’s very easy for fear, anger, and sadness to throw you off course when you’re trying to figure out who gets what. And a lot of women – myself included – end up with less than they reasonably deserve because they just want it all to be over, so they can move forward and just stop fighting.

That’s a mistake that can hurt you financially for a very long time. So if you need help figuring out the real financial picture, get it.

Some of the most important financial issues to consider include:

  • Retirement benefits, especially if your husband has built up a huge retirement nest egg and you haven’t – ask your advisor about a QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relations Order)
  • The house, deciding whether you want to keep it, getting it in your name if you do, and how you’ll pay the mortgage
  • Overlooked assets, which have negotiation value even if you don’t want them, include things like safe deposit boxes, insurance policies, and expensive hobbies
  • Automating payments, so you’re never anxiously waiting to see if the alimony or child support check comes this month

A good divorce lawyer who knows all the financial ins and outs of divorce probably won’t be cheap…but she will be worth every penny in the long run. And if you suspect your ex is hiding assets, call in a forensic accountant – these financial detectives know where to find buried treasure, so you don’t miss out on any money you and your kids should be getting.