A divorce is a time consuming, stressful, and emotionally draining process that millions of adults go through annually. Even though divorce in the United States is common, few people, including those who are getting divorced for a second time, are fully prepared when the time to file comes. If you are someone who is considering filing for a divorce, then there are a few things that you can do to begin preparing without alerting your spouse to your plans. Every person’s circumstances may be different, but this divorce preparation checklist is useful to everyone regardless of their situation.
Gather Financial Documents
One of the first stages of the divorce process is a full financial audit that requires both parties to disclose their income and assets. Hiding assets places individuals at risk of serious repercussions, but many adults attempt to conceal property hoping that their actions go undiscovered. If you are planning to file for a divorce, gather any financial documents that you can obtain before your spouse has a chance to hide, destroy, or alter them.
Tax returns, pay stubs, bank account statements, and credit card bills all play an important role in determining what assets a couple shares. Find these documents and make copies to store in a safe place. Smartphone users can even use their device’s camera to scan documents and store them in an email account or other password protected storage site allowing you to copy vital documents without having to move them from your home.
Create a Budget
After the divorce procedures begin, there is no guarantee that your spouse will continue contributing to the household financially. Creating a budget will give you a decent idea of what you can afford on your own as a single person. Establishing a budget before the divorce actually starts means that you will have an opportunity to begin implementing any money-saving measures necessary before you find yourself short on money. When budgeting remember that you will need to spend money on legal expenses along with paying normal household costs alone.
Open a Post Office Box
There are numerous stories of couples cyber spying on each other during a divorce. Tales of hacked social media accounts, software that saves information placed on shared computers, and other means of spying cause divorcing couples to pay attention to how they store digital information. However, in the rush to secure their internet accounts many people forget to take steps to protect their privacy in the physical world.
Throughout the divorce, your attorney, bank, and others will send you mail on a regular basis that contains sensitive information about your case or finances. If you and your spouse are living together in a shared home throughout the divorce process, opening a post office box is a good way to protect your privacy. The last thing you need during a contentious divorce is your spouse opening your mail or sending copies of your documents to their attorney.
Vayman & Teitelbaum
Protecting your privacy and planning for your financial future are the first of many things you will do during your divorce to secure a settlement that is fair. The divorce attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum are prepared to give you additional legal advice that will guide you through each stage of your divorce. With offices located throughout the Atlanta metro area, we are here to answer your questions and provide you with representation you deserve. Call us today to schedule an initial consultation so that we can begin giving you the legal assistance you need.