For many people, divorce is such a chaotic event in their lives that it can feel like there is no hope for them to ever gain control of the situation. They will simply head in with the intention of leaning heavily on their family law attorney and hoping for the best. While we certainly empathize, it is important that you be as hands-on as possible during your case and diligent about getting all your ducks in a row before you file. This is especially true regarding the financial aspect of your divorce.
Having a firm grasp of your financial situation can mean the difference between achieving the best possible outcome for your unique situation or finding yourself even further behind the eight ball as you attempt to make sense of your new life after divorce.
Here are a few financial tips you should consider BEFORE you file.
Know The Assets and Liabilities of Your Estate
In many relationships, one spouse “controls” the marital finances while the other spouse has no clue what the financial state of the marriage is. If you are that unaware spouse, please take the time to gain as much information as early as possible and make copies of all the statements you can find. This includes bank accounts, brokerage accounts, retirement, pension, and even credit card accounts. It is important to know how much you owe on your mortgage and vehicles. Also, make copies of your last three years of tax returns.
Create A Spreadsheet
Once you have gathered as much information as you can, create a spreadsheet that lists all of your assets, liabilities, and income sources. From there, begin tracking your expenses. You should also list and take pictures of all your valuable items, such as jewelry, keepsakes, art, and collectibles. These items can quickly disappear during a divorce.
Budget For The Cost of Your Divorce
This is frequently overlooked when planning for the financial aspect of divorce. It is important to decide how much you can set aside to finance the expenses for your divorce and what accounts you are going to use to pay them. Also, start thinking about the life you want to lead post-divorce and determine how you will achieve that goal. If you do not already have individual credit in your name, you may want to consider obtaining an individual credit card.
Create an Overall Budget
To piggyback off the previous item on this list, look at how much income you bring in per month, then determine how much of that money typically goes toward fixed expenses (house, car, essentials) and savings. By consistently working through this exercise, you gain a firm grasp of your financial situation and any steps you might need to move forward.
Set Deadlines for Yourself
If you are dead set on getting a divorce, you want to stay on task and create deadlines for yourself so that the process does not drag out longer than it has to. For example, grab a 2023 calendar and set a target date to collect all of your paperwork. From there, maybe give yourself a couple of weeks to find divorce lawyers in your area. Once you have a lawyer, they can help you establish a more realistic timeline.
Taking the time to prepare for your divorce will greatly assist your attorney and hopefully help you to financially plan for your “new life.”
Call Nelson Law Group today!!
If you are getting divorced, you need an experienced lawyer in your corner — someone who has seen it all, gathers relevant evidence to build a personalized strategy, and has a compassionate approach. Nelson Law Group, PC brings over two decades of experience to each family law case we handle. We have extensive bench and jury trial experience, and we will devise a comprehensive strategy based on our years of experience, intuitive legal skill, and the desired outcome of your case. We will also be available to answer your questions or respond to your concerns as they come up.
Contact us today to discuss your situation and gain the information you need to make good decisions. Call our knowledgeable staff if you have any further questions regarding this or any other issue.
Our staff is always available. Give us a call today! For more information about Brett A. Nelson, click here.
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Source: Nelson Law Group