If you are sure that your marriage is about to end, it makes sense to begin planning for that eventuality so that the transition can be as smooth as possible. If you think ahead, you can take some steps that will be of help to everyone concerned.
Consider your current finances
Putting together a list of expenses is a good way to begin looking at the financial picture. You should also make a list of liabilities and work up a budget to be followed until the divorce is final. Locate your bank statements and tax returns and make copies for your attorney. Check for assets that might be held in a safe deposit box. The more organized you are, the better your position will be as you go through the divorce process.
Thinking about your future income
As for your future income, do not take alimony and child support for granted. Your spouse will want to keep as much money as possible, and you may have to lean heavily on your own career. If you find your income will not be sufficient to support yourself and your family, you may benefit from career counseling. You might also consider going back to school to increase your chances of finding a better position and salary. If so, enroll while you are still married if you can. This is because the money you spend in this effort will be viewed as joint money; it will not be deducted from your divorce settlement.
Understanding the impact of employee benefits
Be sure you understand the employee benefits to which you and your spouse are entitled, as well as your combined life, health and disability insurance. You will need to sort out these plans with regard to who are the beneficiaries, who keeps which insurance, and how the policies will affect your future. You should give thought to your eventual retirement and the possibility of any long-term health issues.
Things not to do before divorce
There are some commonsense things to keep in mind before your divorce. Do not give away any jointly owned assets. Avoid making any large purchases, because they will only complicate your finances. Do not move out of the home you share with your spouse before discussing this idea with your attorney, and do not sign any documents until the attorney reviews them.
Preparing for changes
As a divorced person, you are about to enter a whole new world – but first you have to wrap up the old one successfully and with as little turmoil as possible. Rely on preparation, sound planning, your support group and your legal team to help you through it. Divorce is never easy, but change can be good, and contacting an experienced attorney can help smooth the transition to your new life.