How to prepare for divorce
Divorce is a difficult process for anyone, even if you know that your marriage needs to end and that you and your spouse need to go your separate ways. In addition to the emotional fallout from the decision to get divorced, you will also need to handle a wide variety of financial and practical matters. Below are some steps to take to help you prepare to go through the divorce process.
Assemble a Support Team
Divorce can be incredibly isolating, so it is important to identify individuals beyond immediate family like your children or parents who can act as your support team during and after your divorce. Make sure you have people who can support you in specific ways, whether that be mental health support, emotional support, or legal support.
People you may want in your support team include:
- Trusted friends, spiritual ministers, and/or professional counselors to provide emotional support
- Primary physician, nutritionists, trainers/workout partners to help keep you physically healthy
- Attorneys, who ideally should be focused on helping you move on (while still protecting your rights and interests) rather than simply trying to win everything possible in the case
- Financial advisors to walk you through changes to your personal finances
Gather Documents and Information
Before you file for divorce, you will also need to gather and organize important information, including:
- Your personal information and your spouse’s personal information
- Information relevant to the divorce, including your marriage records, the reasons for the divorce, and important documents like restraining orders, pre- or post-nuptial agreements, or property settlement agreements
- Information for any minor children you have
If necessary, you may also want to consider changing passwords to any email or online accounts you have that your spouse may also have access to, as well as obtaining a P.O. box where you can securely receive mail.
Dividing your and your spouse’s assets is arguably one of the most difficult parts of any divorce. But you can avoid complications by trying to divide things fairly. The best way to start is to identify all property that you own individually and jointly with your spouse. In particular, you should secure copies of property deeds, mortgages, and vehicle titles.
Get Your Finances in Order
Next, you should begin the process of separating your finances from that of your spouse. Actions to take include:
- Update estate planning documents, including wills, powers of attorney/healthcare directives, and beneficiary designations, so that your estate and assets following your death will go to those who depend on you
- Update insurance policies so that you are no longer responsible for any financial losses that might be incurred by your ex
- Open your own bank accounts and credit cards so that you have secure access to money.
- Establish an emergency fund and set up a monthly budget within your individual financial means
Determine Living Arrangements
In many cases, couples who choose to get divorced will immediately begin living separately. This means that one spouse will need to move out of the marital home. If you stay in the marital home, you should ensure that you can afford the expenses, or confirm that your spouse will contribute to costs. If you must move out, make sure you can afford your own place.
Contact a Clark Family Law Attorney for a Consultation About Your Divorce in New Jersey Today
If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you have already started the divorce process and are dealing with another matter such as child custody, child support, or division of assets, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The New Jersey family law attorneys at Team Law represent clients throughout the state, including Camden, Passaic, Union City, and Bayonne. We understand how challenging this time can be for you, which is why we will fight hard to protect your interests, and the interests of your loved ones, throughout the legal process. Call us at (732) 540-1394 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. We have an office conveniently located at 136 Central Ave., Clark, NJ 07066, as well as offices located in West New York, Perth Amboy, Edison, Summit, Newark, New Brunswick, Orange, Plainfield, and Jersey City.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.