Three Things You Should Do When You're Preparing For Divorce

Preparing for divorce isn't easy, but it doesn't have to become an overly stressful process either. Yes, getting divorced means that your life is changing, and it's bound to affect you in more ways than one. However, the divorce process, as well as adjusting to life after divorce, becomes a lot easier if you're prepared. So, before you make any drastic changes, you need to do these three things.

Review Your Finances

Do you know exactly the amount of money you have coming in and going out each month? If your spouse handles your finances, you might not know all of the details. Sure, you probably have a general idea of what your household budget looks like, but you need to know what bills to pay and when to pay them. This way, if your spouse moves out of the house, your electricity isn't accidentally shut off.

In addition to understanding how your household finances are handled each month, you need to know exactly how much money is coming into your household each year. Take some time to make copies of your income tax returns for the past few years, as well as paycheck stubs for both you and your spouse. Not only do you need to know this information, your divorce attorney will need it to determine whether or not you should be asking for spousal support as part of your divorce.

Take Inventory

When you get divorced, your assets are divided between you and your spouse. However, in order to ensure that your belongings are divided fairly, you need to know exactly what you own. This doesn't mean that you have to have an inventory list that includes every item in your house, but you do need to have a general idea. Take inventory of large assets, such as

  • Vehicles
  • Real estate
  • Joint bank accounts
  • Insurance policies
  • Retirement accounts
  • Valuable art, antiques, jewelry, and collectibles
  • Investments

Additionally, you should include any items that hold sentimental value to you on your inventory list. This way, you can make sure they aren't overlooked in the divorce settlement.

Consult an Attorney

Before you begin the divorce process, you should consult a divorce attorney, especially if you have children. It's important that you fully understand your legal rights and responsibilities. This way, you don't inadvertently do something that could have a negative outcome on your or your kids' futures.

No one enjoys going through a divorce, but unfortunately, sometimes it's necessary. If you're sure that divorce is your only solution, make sure you're prepared by taking an inventory of your possessions, consulting a divorce attorney, and understanding your finances.