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Money Matters For Divorce

Getting divorced is an emotional and often overwhelming process, especially when it comes to finances.

To help, family attorney Gayle Smith has written "Divorce and Money: Everything You Need to Know," which includes advice from judges, therapists, financial experts and from her own experiences on how to best make sense of your money matters and secure your financial future.

She tells The Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm there are a few steps to make things easier on families going through a divorce.

  • Separate Emotional From Financial
  • Document! Document! Document!
  • Don't Forget Retirement Funds, Collectibles, Gadgets
  • Double-Check Life Insurance and Beneficiaries

    Smith notes, "There are a lot of people who can help you. There are lawyers out there. I know you get out there and you kind of say, 'I made a really big mistake, I chose this person and thought I would be happy. How do I choose the right lawyer?' But use your gut. Go with someone you're comfortable with. Make sure you investigate the background. Make sure the lawyer takes continuing legal education courses."

    Lawyers can cost over $500 an hour. So to curtail legal fees, she stresses the importance of doing your homework. She says, "Know what the issues are. If you are an educated consumer beforehand, then you can take control. You can work with the lawyer or work with an accountant. If there are tax implications, you can take control of the case."

    And you don't always have to go to court. Smith says, "Know which issues are worth fighting over. Because one thing is for sure, the two lawyers are the two people who stand to gain monetarily."

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