There is a lot of preparation that goes into the divorce process. If you neglect to prepare for success, you could find yourself making mistakes that cost you time and money, both now and in the future.
Fortunately, there are a variety of steps you can take to prepare for the divorce process, including the following:
- Create a property and debt division checklist: This is a list of all your assets and liabilities. Make note of which ones are joint and separate, as well as an approximate value of each.
- Review your budget: Your divorce will be in the past soon enough. At that point, you’re left to manage your personal budget. The sooner you create this, the sooner you can adjust how you spend and save. Remember, you’re no longer able to rely on your spouse’s income.
- Talk to your children: If you have children with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, talk to them about the divorce process and the impact it will have on their life. While it’s not always possible, it’s best to do so alongside your spouse. This gives your children a sense of comfort during a very difficult time.
- Gather the appropriate documentation: It’s best to do this up front, so you don’t find yourself scrambling once you’re in the midst of the divorce process. Some of the documents that you’ll need include pay stubs, tax returns, bank account statements, credit card account statements and retirement plan statements. If you think it’s important, it probably is.
- Learn more about child support and alimony: Maybe you assume that you’re due to receive child support and/or alimony. Or maybe you have reason to believe you’ll have to pay one or both. Either way, it will impact your future, so learn as much as you can about these payments.
When you take these steps, you’ll find it easier to prepare for the divorce process. And once you feel good about your preparation, you can proceed with confidence.
There’s no way of knowing what will happen in your divorce, but there are steps you can take to protect your legal rights and keep things moving in the right direction.