12 Jan Preparing For A Smart Divorce
Preparing for a divorce before it actually happens can help reduce much of the stress and conflict that many people face when they are faced with the divorce – and want to rush through it as soon as possible. As with anything in life, rushing the process leads to making mistakes, overlooking issues, and not having your head wrapped around the situation. Even if you’re committed to getting a divorce and your spouse is not, it is important to make a checklist and think about everything that is needed and you’ll reduce stress for everyone involved. Just remember to be patient, you’re going through the process but your spouse will need to start at the beginning and emotionally get where you are today.
Here are a few things to think about as you start the process:
Gather Your Divorce Paperwork
The amount of information required to get divorced in New Jersey (or any state) is very overwhelming and much like buying a new home, start gathering your information as early as possible. You’ll need to have a list of your accounts, account numbers, addresses, and phone numbers for all of your assets and debts. Think about your bank accounts, credit cards, loans, student loans, retirement funds, mortgages, stocks and bonds, autos, and more. Having three years tax statements and IRS filings on hand is also very helpful.
Also think about health insurance, marital agreements, settlements, wills, deeds, powers of attorney, and more. The list is long but having that info in a spreadsheet will save you a lot of time and stress.
Assets and Debts: Get A Handle On Your Financial Situation
When a marriage ends through a divorce, the parties need to divide their joint property fairly. In New Jersey, the division needs to be equitable rather than equal. Your next step is to take all the passwords, accounts, and joint financial data you’ve embarked upon over the tenure of your marriage and understand your complete financial picture. Taking your marital estate (what you acquired) and subtracting your debts will give you your net worth – and an idea of what to expect upon any financial settlement.
Also keep a list of your income and expenses and know what a normal monthly outlay looks like. Be mindful to not buy anything excessive at this time and fuel the fire when it comes to splitting marital assets. Be fair and reasonable. But also know what expenses you have which, after divided, should be less than the amount of income you have moving forward. You have to live on a fair amount and if that comes from your employment or from the agreement you’ll develop, you’ll now understand your financial situation.
Being Financially Independent
It’s important to not build any additional debt, as you will want to keep assets as liquid as possible during the time ahead. Similarly, don’t allow your spouse to take out more debt, or convince you to refinance the marital home before filing for divorce. This just further entangles the finances and leaves both parties with larger liabilities after divorce.
Divorce historically hurts the credit of the people involved. This is because you’re going from one income one home to one income two homes and the burden of the extra expenses of living apart is difficult. While you are preparing for a divorce, you should get a copy of your credit score to see where you stand. For a small fee, you can get your reports and credit scores for the three major bureaus to know, with certainty, where you and your spouse stand.
Other steps you can take to break the marital finances are getting your own bank accounts to further divide your assets. This will allow you to pay expenses without having to worry about your spouse finding out or taking the money. You can use this account to build a reserve to cover emergency expenses, attorney fees, rent, deposits, utilities, etc. While this account will allow you some financial control until the divorce, you’ll need to remember that the money in the account is subject to division during the divorce.
Contact Divorce Attorney Jeffery M. Bloom – West New York
If you’re considering divorce, please contact attorney Jeffrey M. Bloom during the preparation stage. Mr. Bloom will happily discuss options you have and make helpful suggestions to further prepare for your divorce. You’ll receive a rough estimate of what your divorce will cost during your consultation allowing you to further plan to take the best possible path on your next journey – (855) 208-3650.