Welcome back and thanks for joining us again for the rest of this discussion on how to prepare for a divorce, once you’ve decided that’s what you want. As we pointed out in the previous article, the first step should always be choosing a defense attorney and meeting with them to get a good idea of what your divorce will look like. However, once you’ve done that, along with the next four steps on the list, we recommend you pick up where we left off last time, with the next item on the list…
For self employed spouses
If either you or your spouse is self employed, you will need to gather copies of any relevant financial paperwork that pertains to your (or their) business. Make copies of business income tax returns for the past 5 years. Also, write down the name of the business, and note the names of all of the partners in the business. And make a note of the personal accountant, financial planner, and attorney that your spouse uses for business.
Get a copy of your credit report
There are many places you can go online to get free copies of your credit report (try the federal government’s consumer protection page, or www.AnnualCreditReport.com.) However, if you don’t have any individual credit in your name alone, you need to start establishing separate credit. If your credit is bad, talk to us about things you can do to start over and work towards repairing your credit score.
Create a budget for you post-divorce life
It’s very rare that a person’s post-divorce financial situation is better than their pre-divorce one. In most cases, you go from being a dual-income couple, to a single income individual. That means having to pay all your bills by yourself, and cover all of your daily expenses, like food and gas, on your own. For people who were stay-at-home parents, this can be very daunting. So the sooner you put together a budget to reflect what your monthly cost of living will be, the sooner you will know what kind of job you’ll need to look for, and what kind of financial limitations you’ll need to set, the better!
Start saving some money for yourself for the future
There’s nothing wrong with having a separate savings account. Everyone should have at least 3 to six months worth of emergency money set aside, in order to be prepared for all eventualities. This IS NOT hiding assets! It’s strategic planning for unexpected expenses, including a divorce – which can be very costly! As long as all the money you save is revealed during the discovery process, you can’t be accused of trying to hide assets or sneak money for yourself. So be smart and start saving for your future – you’re going to need it to get back on your feet when the dust has settled.
Make sure your kids are properly taken care of
Your kids are very important, so start thinking ahead about all the aspects of your divorce that will affect them. Consider custody and visitation, and what kind of childcare options you’ll need while at work. Spend some time analysing your existing support system, so that you know who will be able to help you, and who you can call in time of need. Also, talk to your attorney about child support, and what your options are. If you have special needs kids, you’ll need even more help in preparing for life after divorce.
You’re going to need help to manage your divorce preparations
Advance planning for your divorce may not be fun, but it can save you thousands of dollars and a lot of stress. Nobody likes to plan strategy for their divorce, but when you consider how much money, time and emotional distress you avoid once your divorce case is filed, it’s absolutely worth it! If you have questions about divorce, or want a highly skilled and experienced divorce lawyer to help you with your divorce, call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245 today.