- Gather Documents
- Income Tax Returns and W2s
- Pay Stubs
- Credit Card Statements
- House and Car Note Statements
- Retirement Fund Statements (401k, Stocks and Bonds, etc.)
- Car Titles
- Deeds to Real Property and Any Appraisals
- Social Security Statements
2. Get a grip on your finances.
- Now that you have found all of those documents – it’s not a bad idea to start putting together a financial statement or at the least just get an idea of your financial situation. It doesn’t have to be complicated but it should give you an idea of how much your expenses are.
- Remember a typical divorce will cost from $2,500 – $5,000. If you anticipate a fight from your spouse those fees might run between $5,000 – $10,000 with highly contested divorces skyrocketing up from there.
- If you have a joint account, start the process of opening a new one immediately. Don’t take all the funds out of the old account. Only remove what you need. Courts are not too happy when one spouse takes everything. You don’t want to start your fight on the judge’s bad side.
- If your checks are electronically deposited in your joint account you are going to want to have them deposited to a new account.
3. Find your support group
- Now’s a good time to enlist your friends, family, and even professional help if you need it. This is going to be tough. And of course like I said it’s going to suck. You will want all hands on deck and in your corner. Not only will it be nice to know that there is a shoulder to cry on, there may be a time when you might need financial support or help with the kids.
4. Understand the process
- The more you know about divorce the better, especially when it comes time to make big decisions about what you want.
- The fewer questions you have about the law the less time and money you will spend with your attorney.
5. Make a plan
- Before filing for divorce create yourself a life plan. Where do you see yourself when this is all said and done? What is most important to you? Why are you doing this? What are your objectives?
- When things heat up and become emotionally, it is helpful to have a map to look at see if you are maintaining your course. Is the wedding china you and your spouse fighting over really necessary in the grand scheme of things? How does it fit into you overall plan.
If you have any questions — call me or send me a message.
IT WILL GET BETTER!