Sadly, about 50% of marriages end in divorce now a days. There is a lot of anxiety and worry when one is thinking about getting a divorce. Where will I live? How will I be able to support myself? Who will get the kids? Am I going to be able to find a better paying job? Do we have to sell the house? How much is an attorney going to cost? What about my 401(k)? And so on… Here are some tips to keeping things under control and being well prepared when you file for divorce:
- Get organized- make a list of all of your assets and debts, both personal and as a couple;
- Make copies of all your financial records, bank statements, credit cards, tax returns, etc.;
- Monitor your joint accounts closely- Look for a history of large withdrawals or deposits and take note of things your spouse is doing with community money;
- Create a budget- look at what you are spending as a household and think about what you can cut back on and how you will make it with one income instead of two;
- Pull your credit report- see what you are capable of affording and look at what you can do to improve your credit report, i.e. paying things off;
- Talk to your financial advisor about the current state of your finances- look at your investments, IRA’s, retirement funds, and other financial accounts and talk to them about your options when it comes to divorce.
- Be careful what you post on social media- going through a separation/divorce can be very emotional, but anything you post on social media can be used against you in regards to custody and visitation. Call and vent to a friend instead, or see about talking to a counselor if you have time.
- Focus on the children- try to keep things as civil as possible throughout this transition. It is going to be hard for them to come to terms that mommy and daddy will not be in the same house anymore. Just explain that you both love them and try not to argue/fight in front of them.
These are just a few things to help you get started. Once you are ready to file for divorce, it is good to speak with a family law attorney to understand the process, ask questions, get information, and learn your rights. Call Cage & Miles, LLP for a free 30 minute consultation today.