If you are anticipating a divorce, you are probably thinking about what steps you can take to best prepare yourself. Money is often one of the most important things people worry about when getting divorced. The following list includes ways to prepare yourself before your divorce in order to ensure you are financially protected:
Gather your financial records
The first thing you should do is collect all of your important financial documents. Ideally, it is best to have your own copies of all bank statements, tax returns, payroll stubs, credit card statements, benefits information, property information, etc. Having these records in your possession will simplify the divorce process and safeguard you in case something goes missing.
Assess your family debt
In order to emerge from your divorce as intact as possible, you will need to be aware of your current financial situation. Obtain copies of your credit report and all credit card statements. Be sure to go through the statements and pay close attention to any outstanding debts. It is also important to categorize beforehand whether the debts were incurred individually or jointly during the marriage.
Visit safe deposit boxes
Some couples keep cash and other valuable items in their safe deposit boxes. If a divorce is pending, you should go to the bank where the safe deposit box is located and request that it be frozen. At the very least, make sure the safe deposit box is in joint names and take inventory and photographic evidence of the contents in the box. These steps will protect you if for some reason your spouse attempts to clean out the box and take the money.
Avoid large purchases
If you make an expensive purchase before or during a divorce, this could be included as marital property when it comes time for equitable distribution even if it is solely in your name. Moreover, if you foresee a potential dispute over child support or alimony in your matter, then buying expensive items could be used against you in your ability to pay or receive support.
Proper preparation before a divorce is critical for ensuring a favorable divorce outcome. Organizing your financial records, assessing the family debt, accessing any safe deposit boxes, and curbing major purchases are all important steps you can take today in order to better protect yourself while a divorce is pending.
For more information regarding how you can protect your finances before and during a divorce contact the law office of Lyons & Associates. At the law office of Lyons & Associates, we represent men and women throughout New Jersey who have unresolved family law matters. We place a premium on personalized service and attention. For a private consultation, contact us, on our website at www.lyonspc.com, or call our office at 908-575-9777.
Written by: Lyons & Associates, P.C.