The decision to get divorced is monumental and requires carefully thought out planning. Here are four important steps you should take before filing for divorce*:
1. Copy all financial records: It’s essential to have a handle on your finances and what funds go in and out each month. Before your soon to be Ex has the chance to discard or remove documents, you must copy everything (3 years’ worth, if available):
* tax returns, pay stubs, all other indicia of income
* credit card statements
* bank, brokerage and retirement account statements
* life and disability insurance documents
* evidence of ownership of any other assets: homes, property, life insurance policies, and business interests.
2. Rainy day fund: Put money away in the event the court is delayed in granting you temporary alimony, child support or attorneys’ fees. If you believe that your soon to be ex will withhold funds or deplete accounts, it’s not a bad idea to take half of the balance of joint cash accounts. Additionally, courts are backlogged, and it’s important to be able to pay your expenses until you have your day in court.
3. Kids: Speak with a mental health professional about strategies to help your kids transition to two separate households.
4. Consult with a Marital and Family Law Attorney: Speak to an attorney whose practice is devoted to Marital and Family Law. These are the professionals who are aware of the intricacies and trends in alimony laws, equitable distribution, parenting and child support.
To learn more about collaborative divorce and other divorce options, go to: MaraBernsteinDivorce.com or call my office at 561-910-1870.
*This is not legal advice but rather general information.