Getting Ahead of the New Year’s First Step
The new year is drawing ever nearer, and many people who have considered filing for divorce held off on doing so during the holiday season. Now that a fresh start is upon all of us, a different kind of fresh start is available for those looking to end their marriage. However, before the new year ever begins, you can begin preparing for divorce to get a jump start on numerous steps in the process.
Here are things you can be doing now to prepare for when you file for divorce in the new year.
Gather Important Documentation
You’re going to need a lot of information throughout your divorce. From documents detailing personal information such as Social Security cards and marriage certificates to other documents related to finances and bank account statements (and so much more!), you should consider using this time to accumulate as much information as you can and make copies of it all to keep safe.
You will likely need much of this information at some point in your divorce, and, unfortunately, some divorces have seen an angry spouse destroy documentation to create havoc; making copies of important documents and storing them in a safe place ensures that your information will be protected.
Take Inventory of Your Assets and Debts
A major part of divorce is submitting a complete inventory of your assets and debts, both marital and separate. This can be a lengthy process to complete, but you can begin working on it before you ever file for divorce.
Assembling all of these assets together in one place can be a daunting task, especially if you are unsure of where to begin. Consider the following assets commonly found in a divorce and look for these to start with:
- Financial accounts (ranging from traditional checking and savings accounts to other money market accounts).
- Real estate.
- Brokerage accounts containing stocks and mutual fund investments.
- Digital wallets containing cryptocurrencies and NFTs.
- Household items.
- Collectibles of any type.
- Life insurance policies.
- Student loan debt.
- Credit card debt.
- Personal loan debt.
While not an exhaustive list, these broad categories can guide you as you begin compiling your asset inventory.
Project Your Financial Future
While no one is able to accurately predict the future, you can know for certain that your financial situation will change after divorce. Not only will your total monthly income change with one person’s income leaving the relationship, but you may have the possibility of either receiving or paying child support or alimony; in addition, property division will leave you with fewer assets than what you had when you were married.
In order to avoid being completely caught off guard financially, use the opportunity prior to filing for divorce to start getting a rough idea of what your financial situation might look like after divorce. You may be unable to project every area, but you can imagine life without your spouse’s income as well as get an idea of what expenses you will have and what changes to your spending and saving habits may need to be made.
Build up a Circle of Support
You may not be ready to tell the world of your plans yet, but you can use the time before filing for divorce to build up a close circle of people you trust and inform them of your pending divorce. What you are about to go through is going to uproot your life in many ways, and you need some stability throughout the changes coming. Be ready to turn to your trusted family and friends in the event that you need support, and start building this circle sooner rather than later.
Consult with an Attorney for Your Divorce
Divorce can be a complicated process, and it’s important that you leave no stone unturned. Avoid missing something important by consulting with an attorney with experience handling divorces who can guide you throughout the entire process and can help you plan the moves you need to make.
At O’Connor Family Law, we’ve been there before. We know divorce can be difficult in every aspect. Our team is here to help you and to get you to the fresh start waiting for you on the other side. Learn more by calling (774) 315-4220 or by visiting us online.