Most people that are thinking about filing for a divorce do not prepare properly. This is quite the big decision, so it is important not to let emotions get in the way of rational thinking. Do not jump into the divorce process, but instead take it slowly. You do not want to have to deal with the negative consequences of being unprepared. Follow these 5 tips from Divorce Support to make sure your divorce goes as smoothly as it possibly can.
Deal with Finances
One of the most important things to do to prepare for a divorce is to see where you stand financially. You want to get your fair share and understand what is it that you owe versus what your spouse owes. For determining what you own, look past the obvious, and consider items that were brought into the marriage. For what you owe, it is basically any debt listed on your credit report. No matter whose name it is in, marital debt will be split on who is more financially able to pay it.
Document your Income and your Spouse’s Income
Make sure that you have the most recent pay stub and your most recent income tax return. If your spouse is self-employed, obtain copies of bank account statements and financial business statements. Make sure to make copies of the statements before filing for divorce. It may be impossible to determine your spouse’s true income, but your attorney should be able to help get through a discovery process to find out more information.
Prepare a Post-Divorce Budget
It is no surprise that your income could decrease after the divorce. It is essential to determine what your cost of living will be after the divorce so that you are not in over your head in bills when the divorce is complete. Budgeting will also be helpful because you will know what to negotiate in your divorce settlement so that you can survive financially in your new life.
In today’s society, credit is needed for almost everything, from getting a cell phone plan to buying a car. If you do not already have credit in your own name, start building it now by getting a credit card. Use the credit card sparingly, and make sure that you can make the payments on time. A good idea is to use it only for gas and pay it off immediately. Slowly but surely you will eventually build good credit that will help you in the future.
Don’t Lose Out on Money in Joint Accounts
Sometimes out of anger, or for other reasons, your spouse might raid the joint financial account. If this happens you can potentially lose out on a lot of money. If this is a fear you have, make sure that you take out half of the money in the joint account, and deposit it into a separate account that is in your name. Also, don’t hide this from your spouse. Make sure that you document every financial decision you make and ever penny you spend. If you have any worries about other accounts such as savings accounts, or other kinds of investment accounts, you should consider having those accounts frozen until the process is over.
The most important thing to do when going through a divorce is to stay calm and collected. Be the bigger person; do not let your emotions make you do something that you will regret in the end, because that can hurt you in court. Another vital step to take is to get a good divorce attorney. Here at Revelli & Luzzo in Worcester, Massachusetts, we have experienced family law attorneys that here to help with your divorce. Contact us for more information.