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How to Prepare for Divorce

Divorce can be an emotionally trying time. At the same time, however, it may also provide opportunities for growth and change. When children are involved, having a support network in place is especially crucial.

Support systems may include friends and family as well as objective professionals like divorce attorneys and financial advisors. Therapy should also be considered.

  1. Meet with a Divorce Attorney

As soon as you decide to file for divorce, one of the first things you should do is meet with a divorce attorney for consultation. A consultation will allow you to assess their approach, legal strategy and personality so when filing begins you’ll feel prepared and ready to move forward with it.

At your initial meeting, it will be necessary for you to present various documents to your attorney – such as income tax returns, bank statements and property valuation reports – which will enable him or her to gain an accurate picture of what transpired during your marriage and provide support for either claims or counterclaims brought forth against each party involved in the divorce case.

Additionally, they’ll help identify whether your partner is being truthful. You can visit this helpful site for more information.

Make a list of items that belong solely to you, such as family heirlooms or gifts from family. Acquire all log-in information for joint accounts as well as possible. It may also be wise to open new bank accounts in your name before filing for a divorce – check state laws to be sure.

Escalated emotions during divorce proceedings can often make matters more stressful, so having someone there to listen, take notes and provide emotional support can be extremely helpful. Just be sure that this arrangement has been discussed with your attorney first so they do not encounter any confidentiality issues.

  1. Gather Documents

Organization is essential when going through a divorce, both to save time and money by streamlining the legal process, as well as giving your attorney an accurate picture of both financial and legal aspects of your marriage.

At first, you will require several documents:

Bank statements (checking, savings, investment and credit card), tax returns for both you and your spouse, any retirement accounts, insurance policies (homeowners, auto and life), as well as all financial records should all be brought together.

You should also locate copies of prenuptial or postnuptial agreements as well as estate planning documents (wills, trust documents, power of attorneys and advance health care directives). You can click the link: to learn more about trust accounts.

Once you’ve collected these documents, it’s time to consider how your finances will change after divorce. Consider how you will pay your bills and any joint expenses such as childcare costs, groceries or car insurance premiums which might become payable after splitting up.

At this stage, it’s also wise to open up a bank account in your name alone so you can quickly and easily access funds after the divorce is final. Be sure to also review state regulations regarding when direct deposits can be moved over.

  1. Create a Financial Plan

Divorce can have an emotional toll, which will undoubtedly influence your financial decisions, but seeking legal advice from a family law attorney and receiving support from friends, family or therapist will be helpful in staying on course with achieving your financial goals.

This means making key decisions such as dividing assets and debts as well as considering any possible tax implications when doing so.

Your financial resources include assets, debts, income sources and expenses owed between you and your spouse; this will give your lawyer a complete picture of what needs to be negotiated during divorce proceedings.

Once you have an inventory of your resources, start creating a budget and setting realistic financial goals. Think carefully about what will be necessary for survival during the first year post-divorce as well as three, five and ten years later – perhaps purchasing disability insurance to provide yourself with monthly paychecks should injury or illness prevent you from working?

Make sure that all passwords on all accounts have been changed, and get a P.O. Box specifically for divorce-related mail, to prevent your former partner from accessing it. Rent a home safe if there are valuables that need protecting, or open a safe deposit box at a bank if one doesn’t already exist.

  1. Schedule a Meeting with Your Children’s Custody Lawyer

Though all divorces follow the same general process, when children are involved additional steps and considerations need to be made. These can include who will live in the marital home (physical custody), visitation schedules and child support payments. A child custody lawyer can help both parties identify an arrangement that puts your children’s best interests first.

As part of your divorce proceedings, it is also wise to discuss moving. Unfortunately, many couples can no longer afford two homes at the same time and this decision may impact how much spousal support will need to be paid as well as the ongoing cost associated with maintaining your lifestyle after the separation is finalized.

One of the most essential steps you can take during a divorce is taking care of yourself. Seeking divorce counseling could be invaluable in processing feelings such as anger, fear and hurt. Staying off social media as much as possible and resisting urges to talk about ex-spouse with friends and family who don’t need to know may also be essential in finding relief.

Establishing a budget can also help identify ways of cutting expenses and anticipating what life after divorce will look like.

When approaching your spouse, choose an open time that won’t clash with an important event such as a holiday or family celebration. Also try not to broach the subject when they’re feeling stressed or tired if possible.

As soon as you decide to file for divorce, make sure you gather copies of all necessary documents and financial data – this includes tax returns, bank statements and check registers, investment and retirement account records, loan documents (mortgage, car, and credit cards), employee benefit handbooks, health insurance policies, family trust agreements and social security statements.



Jeff Campbell