Taking the time to prepare for any major life event is an important way to protect your interests, and this is especially true of divorce.
By carefully collecting important documents and having frank conversations about the things that matter most to you, you can lay the groundwork for a strong future for your family.
What steps should you take?
1. Think about what matters most to you.
You know your life and the things you value. Taking the time to think about these details and discuss them with your spouse, your loved ones or your attorney can help you choose what to focus on in your divorce. If you and your spouse own a home, for example, is it important to keep your house or are you more comfortable seeking a fresh start in a new location?
If you have children, these conversations can be particularly important. What needs does your child have in terms of healthcare, schooling and emotional support? How will you tell them about your divorce, and what information will you share? Not only can these details help you protect your parental relationship, they can also help make the divorce process less stressful for your child.
2. Gather information about your finances.
Property division is often one of the most challenging — and contentious — aspects of divorce. Collecting documentation about your finances can ensure that you do not overlook any details and that you receive your fair share.
Some of these important documents include:
- Information about you and your spouse’s pay
- Documents about joint bank accounts
- Recent tax returns
- Copies of insurance policies
- Lists of monthly expenses, including mortgage statements and costs associated with childcare
Gathering this information early can bring a variety of benefits. Not only will it allow you to approach property division with greater confidence, it can also prevent your spouse from hiding assets.
3. Consider seeking support early in the process.
Facing divorce alone can be daunting, but that is not the only option that people have during this difficult time. Seeking out counseling or the guidance of loved ones can help you handle the emotional challenges of the process.
Financial planners can help ensure that you make sound financial decisions, while an attorney can assist you with creating a sound legal strategy.
The end of your marriage is a challenging time, but the steps you take to prepare today can help you work toward a brighter tomorrow.