Divorce: Being Prepared

The decision to seek a divorce is normally based upon several factors. While the main reason is often the emotional situation between the parties, others include finances, issues surrounding children, and general discontentment.

If a person is considering a divorce, there are some things he or she should consider doing in preparation. The first is to create an emergency financial fund since divorces can create problems concerning living arrangements, bill paying, and attorney’s fees.  It is important that the fund contains enough money to pay the current mortgage, or rent, on a new residence in case he or she is the one who will move out.

If there are children of the marriage, consideration should be given to paying temporary child support or potentially needing to support the children alone until a temporary order can be put into place.  The ability to pay existing financial obligations, as well as any new ones, should be considered and prepared for also.

Divorce, or even a pre-divorce separation, can cause severe emotional stress on a household and consideration should be given on how to deal with it.  Counseling for yourself and any children is often recommended.  It may provide certain coping exercises and skills that will ease the transition from being a family unit, to living as a divorced family/couple.

Finally, in a pre-divorce preparation all financial records should be obtained or copies made.  These should include tax filings for the last 3 years and statements of all current bills or credit card accounts.  The involved parties should also be prepared to provide account numbers and information on all marital bank accounts; as well as the current value of checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, retirement accounts, or any other accounts held by the parties.  In addition there should be a list created of all real property owned by the parties along with: the debt owed, how much equity each holds, and copies of deeds or titles if possible.

Preparation of this type will help you and your attorney deal efficiently with your case.  More importantly being prepared will help you maintain the mental health of your family while protecting your credit and lifestyle as much as possible.