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Preparing for Divorce

The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance - Nathaniel Branden

As with anything being prepared and organized from the get-go results in a less costly and better outcome. When it comes to divorce if the first step is awareness and the next is acceptance then the third step is preparation. No matter what, divorce is stressful. But you can ease that stress by preparing for the divorce before it actually happens. By planning ahead, you can make sound decisions and avoid some of the conflict that comes with divorce.

Paperwork

The amount of information necessary for a divorce can be overwhelming. You will need account numbers, addresses and phone numbers for all your accounts such as bank accounts, credit cards, loans, stocks, bonds and mortgages. You will also need copies of pay stubs, tax returns and employment information. You will need copies of power of attorney or prenuptial agreement if they exist.

Know your financial situation

Once you have gathered all the necessary paperwork, you will be able to determine the value of your marital assets. Marital assets are everything that was acquired during your marriage. To determine the net worth of the marital estate, subtract all the marital debt from the total value of the marital assets. This will give a glimpse of what you will be entitled to when you get divorces.

While you are preparing for a divorce, you should get a copy of your credit score to see where you stand. If possible, pay down your debt and don't take on any new debt. Keep track of your income and expenses so you can provide documentation for determining the amount of any support to be awarded.

If you don't already have a budget, you should create one. This will help you determine how much it is going to cost you to live on your own. Don't forget to include insurance in your budget if you are currently on your spouse's policy.

Get legal advice

It's a good idea to consult with a lawyer during the preparation stage. A qualified family lawyer can tell you what your options are, as well as make suggestions to help further prepare yourself for a divorce. Find out from during your consultation what the divorce is going to cost. You should be able to get a rough estimate.

Document Your Valuables

You should videotape or photograph your possessions, including the contents of your house, your vehicles, and other property. In the event things go missing during the divorce, this can provide proof of its existence.

Although the preparation may seem overwhelming it will help in the long run if you to take your time and prepared carefully for this next phase of your life.

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