Preparation is often key to making things in life easier and divorce is no different. If you are considering filing for divorce, there are certain steps you can take to help the road ahead not be quite so bumpy. Even under the most amicable of terms, divorce is difficult. It is a major life change and you will be so grateful for planning ahead and easing the process, even if it is just a little bit. Additionally, preparing for divorce can help not only protect your financial interests but can also help you financially prepare for what will likely be a large shift in your finances.
Much of what you can do to prepare for divorce involves getting organized and gathering documentation. First and foremost, you should take steps to fully understand your finances. This means that, if you don’t already do so, start to track your family finances. Work out how money is spent each month. In addition to expenses, know what assets and debts both you and your spouse have.
Additionally, find out how much your spouse makes each month. You will also want to gather any relevant financial documents such as bank statements, pay stubs, and tax returns. Should your spouse try to hide any assets or income during divorce, these financial documents can help uncover them. This documentation can also help your attorney best prepare for divorce proceedings and protect your best interests.
You will also want to prepare financially for the big change divorce will bring. Divorce can be expensive. Going from a two-income household to a one-income household will be a big change. First, you will want to open a separate bank account and start depositing your paychecks in there. Make sure your spouse does not have access to this account. Start putting money aside so that you can be prepared to pay your own bills during and after divorce. Start reducing your unnecessary expenditures. Definitely avoid things like splurges or large expenditures as you prepare for divorce. You may also want to draft a mock budget of how you will plan for your future finances. Make a plan and stick to it.
If there are children that are a product of the marriage, you will also want to prepare for potential custody disputes. Keep a record of who takes on childcare tasks such as scheduling and bringing them to appointments and extracurricular activities. Note who attends school functions and parent-teacher conferences. Gather any documentation that relates to how you are involved in the lives of your children.
If there has been anything that will show the other parent may be unfit to have custody of the children, gather documentation relating to it. This may include a police report or drug evaluation. Also, unless there are safety concerns, stay in the marital home. Stay with your children. Courts may sometimes wish to “stay the course” if a certain living arrangement is already in place and working out well. Moving out of the marital home and away from your children may jeopardize custody arrangements.
Florida Divorce Attorneys
The trusted divorce attorneys at the Orlando Family Team begin protecting and advocating for our clients even before a divorce petition is filed. We will help you prepare for divorce proceedings and always fight for your best interests. Contact us today.