When your marriage begins to fall apart and divorce is likely on the horizon, it is important to prepare yourself for the many challenges you will have to face. While these challenges can be overwhelming, proper planning early on can help you make smart financial and legal choices for both you and your family. In this blog, we explain several things that you can do to better prepare yourself for divorce.
Once you are sure you want a divorce, you should create a system for documenting and storing all information that is related to your case. This information can be invaluable if you have to go through any legal proceedings. Becoming familiar with what documents you have and where they are can help avoid delays in your case. Nothing is more frustrating than desperately needing a document and being unable to find it.
Obtain Your Own Copies
It is important that you get copies of all relevant documents and evidence that you will need for your case. This includes documents like tax returns, bank statements, insurance policies, and mortgage payments. If discrepancies arise at any point during your divorce proceedings, having your own copies of documents will come in handy.
Document All of Your Assets
The financial aspects of a divorce are usually the first to be disputed. Knowing precisely what you own is vital when dividing property, which is why you should make a list of all the assets you have. Create a paper trail for any expensive items or properties and determine their total value. For example, if you have valuable collectibles, take pictures of their exact condition to use as evidence of their existence.
Understand Your Spouse’s Finances
While it is important to know what you own, understanding the earning potential of your spouse can be just as important. What credit cards do they have in their name? What is their annual salary? Do they have any outstanding loans or other types of debt? Knowing the answers to these questions can help ensure that you receive a fair divorce settlement.
Create a Plan for Debt
In addition to dividing assets, the distribution of debt can also be a contentious issue for divorcing couples. You should consider whether it makes sense for you to pay off shared debts before your divorce is finalized . However, be sure to verify which debts, if any, were incurred before your marriage began.
Speak with an Attorney
The steps you take to prepare for divorce can drastically affect your entire case. Divorces can be tremendously complex, and the financial matters that need to be considered can be easily misunderstood by the average person. Consulting with an experienced attorney can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case. If you and your spouse have experienced irreconcilable differences, you should immediately consult with our lawyers.
Contact our Fairfax team of divorce attorneys to find out how we can assist you today.