Divorcing is a complicated and stressful process, but preparation can help reduce the strain. Divorce involves the division of marital property between you and your spouse. The more information you gather ahead of time, the better prepared you will be.
The following tips will help guide you through your divorce.
Research so that you know what to expect based on your situation. Read up on issues such as child custody, child support, alimony or spousal support as they relate to you to help you make choices throughout the process. If you and your future ex-spouse have previously agreed about any of these issues, create documentation of those plans so you have a place to start from. As much as possible, work amicably with your spouse to try to cooperate. Contentious divorces drag out and become costly for all involved.
Provide documentation of assets
Gather all financial and legal documents that establish your assets. This list will vary depending on your lifestyle, financial situation and family situation. Some of the typical documents to gather include:
- Tax returns
- Bank statements
- Proof of income
- Real estate holdings
- Mortgage payments
- Retirement account statements
- Credit card statements
- Property tax statements
- Utility bills
- All insurance policies – home, auto, life, health
You and your spouse must report all your assets so that you can equitably divide them. Provide this information as soon as possible.
It is good to be as open as possible throughout divorce proceedings so that you and your spouse can make fair and equitable decisions.