If you believe your marriage is beginning to come undone and divorce is just around the corner, you need to get your affairs in order and prepare for the numerous challenges you will likely face during your divorce proceedings. Although it can be very overwhelming when you are first confronted with divorce, prepping ahead of time can help you maintain control of your finances and other important legal decisions that will impact both you and your family. In this blog, we tell you 6 things that you can do to get ready for divorce.
You need to have a system for documenting and storing all of the information that is important to your case. Information is crucial during legal disputes, especially divorce proceedings. Become familiar with the documents that will be used in your case and keep them easily available to help avoid delays. There is nothing more frustrating than desperately needing an important document that you cannot track down.
#2: Make Copies
Always make copies of any documents and evidence that will be relevant to your settlement. Documents like your tax returns, bank statements, insurance policies, and mortgage payments should all be copied and organized. Copies come in handy whenever there is a discrepancy that needs validating.
#3: Document Your Assets
Property and finances are usually the first things that a couple argues about when they get divorced. Knowing precisely which assets and properties you own is crucial if you want to get a fair share of what is yours. This is why you need to create a list of all the assets you have, so that you have a proof of the value you are entitled to. If you have valuable collectables or family heirlooms, take pictures so that you have evidence of their existence and the condition they are in.
#4: Learn About Your Spouse’s Finances
As we stated above, it is important for you to know exactly what property and assets you own, but you also need to get a solid understanding of your spouse’s income and earning potential. Find out what credit cards they have in their own name and what their annual salary is. Determine if your spouse has any outstanding loans or other types of outstanding debt. Knowing all of this information will help you negotiate a fair divorce settlement.
#5: Make a Debt Plan
Along with your assets and property, the debts that you and your spouse share responsibility for will also need to be distributed in the divorce. In fact, allocating who is responsible for which debts can be one of the most contentious issues that divorcing couples argue about. You should consider if it makes more sense for you to pay off your shared debts before your divorce is finalized, or if it would benefit you to wait. However, make sure you double check and verify which debts, if any, were incurred before you got married.
#6: Talk to a Divorce Lawyer
How you prepare for your divorce can have a major impact on the result of your divorce settlement. Divorce can be complicated and all of the financial matters that must be considered should be discussed with an attorney who has years of experience handling family law cases. Having a skilled attorney who can advise you about legal matters can help you get a better outcome in your case. If you think it’s time to divorce from your spouse, you should immediately speak to our attorneys.
At Sherwood, Johnson & Poles, we are committed to helping families get through their divorce and move on to the next phase of their lives. Contact our team of Bergen County divorce lawyers to set up your free consultation.