Clear thinking can be elusive or downright impossible when a marriage ends. Emotions may cloud critical decisions made during divorce, from custody and support agreements to settlements about property division. It’s hard to consider the future when today seems so complex and confusing.

There is no simple way to separate personal feelings from the divorce process. However, professional advice is available for Columbus spouses who feel overwhelmed by legal and financial choices. The settlement you reach with an ex-spouse affects the immediate transition out of marriage and for many Ohio spouses, long-range plans.

When you go to a grocery store hungry, you’ll probably buy things you don’t need. In a way, the same is true during property negotiations. Many spouses don’t recognize the true value or the true consequences of marital assets until a divorce is over.

Your first instinct during divorce may be to go for property quantity rather than quality. A spouse’s insistence upon keeping a marital home is a prime example. Homes are sentimental assets with strings attached.

A divorcing parent may argue keeping children in a familiar environment is healthy. That’s true, but the ex-spouse who stays in the home must be able to afford to live there. The mortgage, taxes and upkeep don’t change, but the responsibility of those debts and duties fall on one person with one income.

A divorce at a later age can have a significant impact upon retirement. The joint plans you made for the non-working years take a new direction. Retirement dreams may have to be put on hold to reach new, solitary goals for a secure financial future.

Financial counselors can tell you whether an asset has staying power or can morph into an unwanted debt or tax burden. Attorneys help spouses settle conflicts and negotiate satisfactory settlements, for the emotionally charged present and the hard-to-imagine future.

Source: MarketWatch, “Divorce isn’t just about the money grab” Larry Stein, Jul. 28, 2014