For many people who decide to divorce, they may only consider the emotional aspects of such a life-changing act. They focus on what to tell family and friends, prepare what they may say to children or what they must do to obtain therapy. However, divorce actually comes with important financial implications, and it is critical that people are prepared for it.
With that in mind, potential divorcees should consider divorce as a business transaction. With any business deal, it is important to have a plan. This post will set forth some critical points for pre-divorce planning.
Find the right attorney – Of course, finding a good lawyer is essential in preparing for a divorce, but many people overlook the importance of finding the right attorney for them. Hiring a bulldog for a straightforward divorce is just as troubling as hiring a novice for a complicated split. It is helpful to interview a number of attorneys to find the right one for you.
Understand your financial status – Any business in the midst of transition will know how much it is worth (i.e. how much its assets are worth compared to its obligations). As a potential divorcee, knowing how much you owe and what you have in assets will help in creating a reasonable forecast for your post-divorce life. It will also help in creating a plan to negotiate settlement or devise a strategy for possible litigation.
Have access to financial records – As we alluded to earlier, knowing what you owe is essential to setting the tone for negotiations. But even before “knowing” you must have access. This might be troubling if you don’t regularly make financial decisions, but once you know where records are kept, this can be an important step in setting the tone for your divorce.
If you have additional divorce planning questions, an experienced family law attorney can help.