Divorce can be a stressful time. It can be even more stressful if you are not prepared for the process.
If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, one of the best ways you can help yourself out is to begin preparing for your divorce as early as possible. This may help reduce your stress later on, and it may help you achieve more of the outcomes that matter most to you.
How to get started
The thought of preparing for divorce can seem overwhelming at first. However, like most things, it can be broken into manageable steps.
If you are not sure how to begin, you may consider collecting all of your family’s important documents. You and your spouse will each need your own copy of each document. Collecting and organizing these documents can help ensure you will be able to find what you need as quickly as possible throughout the divorce process.
Some documents you may want to be sure to grab, include:
- Personal finance statements
- Bank statements
- Investment account statements
- Real estate deeds
- Loan documents
- Credit card statements
- Estate planning documents
- Insurance policies
- Income tax returns
Understand your income and expenses
Once you have collected all your family’s important documents, it may be advantageous to make sure you have a good handle on your family’s current financial situation. It is important to know how much income your family has and where that income comes from. It is equally important to know what your family’s expenses are and how those expenses are paid.
Once you understand where your family is now, you can begin to speculate where you might be after your divorce. For example, you might want to consider what income and expenses might you have after your divorce? You may also want to consider what changes you expect your divorce to cause?
Get familiar with your valuables
Many people don’t realize how many possessions they actually have until they start listing them. However, all the marital property must be divided during the divorce process, so it can be helpful to have a list of those items.
In addition to simply listing the name of each item, try to include as much additional information as possible. This may include the value of the object, if you know it, and whether you think the item is marital or separate property.
You may also indicate if you have any documents in relation to a certain asset. Related documents could include loan paperwork, receipts, bank statements or others.
In addition to listing all your assets, you may consider taking photos or video of your property. This can help document the contents of each room of your house, your vehicles and any other properties you may have in case you forgot to list a certain valuable or in case something goes missing.
There may be many aspects of your divorce that will be out of your control. However, you can control how prepared you are. By taking the time to properly prepare, you can give yourself the best chance possible to receive more of the divorce outcomes you want.