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The high level of stress that sometimes accompanies a divorce can make a person forget to consider important details as they strive to put their life together. Careful planning can assist in navigating the financial aspects of a divorce and assist in mitigating the emotional toll.

Authorities suggest that early in the divorce process it may be wise for a couple to sit down and review all aspects of their financial lives. A complete list of assets and liabilities that includes investments, retirement accounts and 401k plans can create a picture of the financial history of the marriage. This information may be valuable in a settlement negotiation or as a couple works to distribute assets and debts.

As the financial review proceeds, issues such as medical insurance after the divorce may be considered. In many instances there may be options for a divorced spouse to continue using their ex-spouse's medical insurance thorough laws like COBRA. Other insurances, such as life insurance, may be negotiated as a part of a settlement, and after divorce a party may wish to change beneficiaries.

After the divorce is final, a review of all estate planning documents may be in order for a newly divorced person. Trusts or wills that list the ex-spouse as a beneficiary may be altered with new designations made for any benefits at the time of death. A change of beneficiaries may also be necessary for investment accounts and other assets.

The divorce process in Washington can seem complicated and even a bit intimidating. But with proper early planning, a couple may help to limit the emotional toll that often goes along with the ending of a marriage. Also, the financial costs for the near term as well as for down the road can be lowered if a financial review is completed early in the dissolution process.