We often speak with people who believe that a divorce is imminent and wanting to know what steps to take to protect them and to make the process as easy as possible. Here are some of our most common suggestions:
Divorce can be very costly. It is important to have funds available to pay your bills on a single income. Reduce unnecessary expenditure and avoid large purchases.
Document Your Income, Assets and Liabilities
Prepare a spreadsheet showing your joint net worth and a budget setting forth anticipated income and expenses. Keep copies of important financial documents like bank and credit card statements, pay stubs and tax returns.
Prepare for Custody Disputes
Keep a diary regarding your children’s activities. Include a complete schedule and track who takes them to school and their extracurricular activities. Keep copies of any police reports or drug evaluations that may demonstrate why your spouse should not have custody of your children. Unless there is violence in the home, try to stay with your children in the home until your divorce is finalized.
A lot of time, expense and stress can be saved if you and your spouse can agree on the division of assets and the custody of the children. If there are any issues where an agreement cannot be reached, a trained and experienced mediator might help you get a consensus. The court proceedings will be much faster and less expensive if your lawyer merely needs to document the agreement reached with your spouse and does not have to litigate a resolution.
Engage the Right Professionals
Ask your friends, family and colleagues for recommendations. It is important that you feel comfortable with your divorce attorney. Meet with your accountant and/or financial planner as well to get their insights. Consider a good counselor/therapist to get you through this change in your life.
If you are considering getting a divorce, feel free to contact us to see how we could assist you.