Getting a divorce can drain you physically as well as emotionally and financially. With just a simple decision and two signatures, your whole life can change. However, if you are unprepared, then this will hit you harder than expected.
To help make this decision as smooth as you can, it is important that you think clearly about your future. If you are moving towards a divorce or a separation, and you know deep down that reconciliation has no chance, then there are some key things you must do to prepare.
Once you file for divorce things, start to move on very quickly, and it is important that you cover all bases.
The speed that divorce moves with is the main reason why pre-divorce planning is incredibly useful and is also advised very strictly by marriage therapist. To know what things to consider when pre-divorce planning keep on reading!
1. Consult a proper divorce lawyer
It is important that you speak to a divorce lawyer as soon as you think about getting a divorce.
An experienced divorce lawyer will let you know about a handful of “do’s” and “don’ts” that you must be aware of.
Your attorney will also make sure that you are in a good position before your paperwork gets filled out.
2. Make a copy of your important documents
It is important that you make a copy of all the important documents lying around the house. This is crucial because once your divorce process starts then, you may not find the time you need to make a copy of these documents. The documents that you must duplicate are:
- Tax returns
- Bank statements
- Investment statements
- Check registers
- Mortgage documents
- Financial and credit care statements
- Employee benefits handbooks
- Social security statements
If your spouse is in a self-employed business, then make sure that you gather as much information as you can about the financial position of their business.
3. Do a home account
Since the divorce will make you and your spouse divide all property you have, it is good that you do an inventory of the major items beforehand such as appliances, jewelry, furniture, artwork, etc. also make sure that you include all offsite and onsite storage facilities as well as things such as your security deposit box present at your bank.
4. List out your budget
It is important that you are aware of your household budget along with the expenses you and your spouse sustain monthly, weekly and annually. This information can be of great help to you when your judge considered things such as child support or alimony.
5. Work out your family debt
If it is possible, try to figure out your family debt and make sure that you pay it all back before the divorce.
Distribution of marital debt can be the most difficult decision spouses have to go through and negotiate on.
Also when discussing out, your debts make sure to discuss debts incurred by one partner or the other before the date of marriage. This kind of debt is known as non-martial debt and is due upon the person who incurred it.
6. Find your partners salary
It is good to find out the amount of money earned by your partner. If their job pays them regularly, then try to look for a pay stub.
If your spouse has their own business and is self-employed or receives a specific portion of cash then make sure that you keep track of the flow of money at least for a few months.
However, most couples try to hide their regular pay and the amount they actually earn from one another in order to reduce the amount they will have to pay for alimony or child support.
7. Find out your earning potential
If you have not worked for a long period of time, then make sure that you get a good idea of how much you will be able to earn in case you re-enter the job industry.
Your earning potential will be the main point of disagreement during the entire separation process; so it is advised that you are well aware of where you stand.
8. Keep track of your credit history
If you have a feeling that you will be leaving your family home, then it is important that you know your credit history as well as your current credit card score. This is crucial because most of the time it can become impossible to get a new place to live, a brand new car and even a new phone number without having a good credit card history thus a good rating.
If you have a weak credit card history and no credit history, then you must start taking steps to fix it and make your situation better.
ake your situation better.