Whether a split has been a long time coming or a specific event triggered it, divorcing spouses would be wise to take some steps to prepare for the process. Those who are better prepared can have an easier time staying organized, negotiating settlements and managing their expectations throughout the process.
If you are divorcing, consider the following ways to lay the groundwork for a smoother experience.
- Collect and organize your paperwork. There will be a lot of paperwork, especially if your divorce involves significant and complex assets. Collecting information like bank records, tax returns and any other documentation for property can be crucial. This article includes a more comprehensive list of what you may need to gather and keep in a safe place.
- Consult the professionals. Throughout the divorce process, complicated issues can arise that you may not want or be able to resolve yourself. Thus, having professionals by your side can be crucial. You can consult an attorney, meet with financial advisors and accountants and reach out to child psychologists if you have children. These parties can help you make informed decisions that are in your best interests.
- Take stock of your property. During a divorce, people can make some unwise decisions, like concealing or stealing assets. In some cases, they start taking things before the legal process is underway. Thus, you should take stock of your property. Create an inventory of what is inside your home, garage or storage unit. It need not be precise at this point, but having a list of the valuable items can help you determine if something goes missing.
- Start avoiding destructive behaviors. During a divorce, everything the parties say, write and do can be under a microscope. To prevent things like allegations of adultery, abuse or other bad acts, be mindful of every encounter you have. Put exchanges with your ex in writing; stay off social media; refrain from saying anything you would not want to be read in front of a judge.
Waiting too long to take these steps can make it harder to avoid mistakes that derail the divorce process or cost you time and money to repair. Preparing in these ways can be wise for personal, financial and legal reasons.