Top Ten Things to Do Before Divorce
If you are approaching a divorce, do not wait to get your affairs in order. Acting quickly before the divorce petition is filed can help protect your rights and interests throughout the process, which can be a tumultuous one even if it is amicable. If divorce appears to be imminent, here are the top ten things to do to protect and prepare yourself.
Copy Your Documents
Go back through household files, old receipts, account records, tax returns, bank statements, employee benefits handbooks, titles and wills, and other similar documents. Make copies for yourself.
Review Your Budget
In arriving at a divorce agreement, it will be necessary to account for expenditures like the mortgage, household expenses, and utility payments. Ensure that your budget covers and documents these items. If it doesn’t, find the information and record it.
Assigning debt between spouses can be one of the most difficult parts of arriving at a divorce agreement. Account for all debt in either spouse’s name, and determine whether any of the debt was accrued before marriage. If your spouse incurred debt prior to tying the knot, you may not be responsible for it.
Check Your Spouse’s Earnings
Nobody wants to believe that their spouse might play dirty at the negotiating table. However, it is possible for a spouse to hide income through his or her own employment, especially if he or she is self-employed or does not receive a regular salary. Ensure your receive your fair share by verifying your spouse’s earnings.
The divorce process can be full of unexpected events affecting both spouses’ financial situations. One spouse may move out and stop paying bills, or seize all assets in joint accounts. You should always have access to money of your own.
Divorce can be very difficult for children. Keep children’s routines as normal as possible, and put their wellbeing first. Doing so will not just make you a better and more effective parent. It may affect aspects of the divorce process like child support and timesharing.
Account for Possessions
Take an inventory of major items like furniture, pieces of art, expensive jewelry or appliances, vehicles, etc. Knowledge of these assets is important so that you can effectively advocate for a fair split of the property.
Assess Your Employability
For purposes of determining alimony, both spouses’ earning potential and contributions to the household through childrearing, funding a partner’s education, etc. will be considered. Take an honest appraisal of your employability; will you need an additional degree to support yourself? Have you been absent from the workforce for a while?
Keep a Journal
It can be immensely helpful to keep a journal detailing interactions between your spouse and children, expenditures, and any other events that may be relevant during the divorce process.
Acquire Legal Counsel
The divorce process can be complicated, and an error that robs you of rights or assets can be difficult to correct. If divorce is on the horizon, immediately get in touch with an experienced Boca Raton family law firm like Schwartz | White. Call 561-391-9943 today to schedule a consultation.