If you and your spouse have decided to divorce, the next hurdle you face will be property division, a prospect that may seem overwhelming.
No matter how simple or complex your financial picture is, becoming well-organized will help you approach this phase of the divorce with confidence.
In organizing your finances, begin by gathering documents that form a picture of your income and expenses. The basics to start with include:
- Bank account statements
- Retirement account statements
- Loan documents including your mortgage, your auto loan and any personal loans
- Credit card statements
- Pay stubs
- Tax return copies
You will need to provide your attorney with a complete list of assets and debts.
Tracking your household expenses is a task that is necessary for your divorce. However, this is an exercise that will also help you plan your post-divorce budget. Include anything you spend money for such as food, clothing, home repairs, childcare, entertainment and transportation. You can also use the information from checking and credit card statements to estimate the expenses you are likely to have in your new life.
While putting your financial information together, you might consider making certain changes, such as substituting someone for your spouse as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy. Remember that the court will look at major financial decisions during your divorce proceedings.
In addition to obtaining legal guidance, do not hesitate to seek help from a financial adviser who can answer any questions you have about your finances, both current and future. Just like tracking your expenses and pulling important documents together, advice from professionals will help you gain confidence as you face the property division phase of your divorce.