- Keep an eye on the mail-box. Every financial document that hits your mailbox in the month of January is worth your time. You should gather Bank and Brokerage account statements showing year end balances and the year end spending summary sent out by most Credit Card companies. You may also start to see tax documents being sent. If you aren’t sure whether the document is pertinent to your Divorce in 2014, keep a copy anyway just in case. Financial knowledge will equal power for your Divorce in 2014. The more you can get now the more prepared you will be to advocate for yourself and obtain the most financially advantageous settlement possible.
- Make copies of all financial files in your home including 5 years of tax returns, any Brokerage and Bank account statements, business ownership documents such as partnership agreements and wills and trusts. Again, if you have any reason to believe the financial document will be important to your Divorce in 2014; you should keep a copy. It is always better to be over-prepared.
- Educate yourself about your divorce options. We believe most couples can resolve their differences outside of court. Make an appointment with a Wellspring Divorce Advisors advisor who will educate you about the process options available for your Divorce in 2014. Staying away from the court system will save emotional and economic resources and should result in a more advantageous financial settlement.
- Consult with a lawyer or two or three or four. Your Wellspring Divorce Advisors advisor can refer you to many high quality divorce lawyers in your community for your Divorce in 2014. Concentrate your search on attorneys who specialize in Family Law. You wouldn’t go to your primary care physician for a tonsillectomy so don’t go to your real estate attorney for your divorce.
- Develop a budget for your Divorce in 2014. Divorce is hard on the checkbook. You will have expenses of two households, legal expenses and expenses to set up that second household such as furniture and furnishings. If you already have a family budget you can use this as a guide to start your individual divorce budget. If you don’t have one begin by looking at the bank and credit card statements you gathered in steps 1 and 2. First get a feel for the recurring expenses like mortgage and utilities then make estimates of discretionary expenses like dining out and entertainment after averaging a couple of months worth of real data gathered from the statements. Finding a way to maintain some level of a similar lifestyle during the divorce proceedings is not easy for most but this is a time for you to be comfortable not feeling destitute. Wellspring Divorce Advisors advisors are experienced in creating budgets and available to assist clients in developing a budget for their Divorce in 2014.
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