How Do You Prepare For Divorce?
1. Obtain a copy of all of your joint financial records: bank statements, credit card statements, tax returns, insurance records, stock accounts, retirement accounts, mortgage statements, business records, trust records... everything.
2. Make a list of all of all assets and liabilities you had before the marriage and a list of all assets and liabilities your spouse had before the marriage.
3. Make a list of all assets and liabilities you and your spouse currently have.
4. Obtain or make copies of social security cards, drivers licenses, passports, deeds, and other important personal documents for you, your spouse and your children.
5. Make a plan for yourself and your children, if applicable. Have an idea of what you need, what your children need and what you want for your future. Although this is difficult, most people have an idea of how much money they have, need and the lifestyle that will afford.
6. Consult with an attorney. Even if you never hire an attorney, you need to know your rights and duties under the law. Most family law attorneys will charge their hourly rate for a consultation. The knowledge gained by meeting with a knowledgeable professional is worth the money!
7. If you have children, do not discuss the substance of the divorce with your children. Although children do need to know that their parents will no longer be together and need to know what their world will look like, they do NOT need to know the details of the process.
8. Get counseling for yourself and your children if you begin to feel overwhelmed. Divorce causes the same emotional and psychological damage as losing a parent. “Toughing it out” is never a good idea; particularly when children are involved.