Pre-divorce planning is a smart move

Most women think about divorce for a long time before they actually look for an attorney and file. If you think that you may need to file for divorce it is wise to begin planning for it when you first contemplate it. If you end up not going through with a divorce, great, no problem. On the other hand, in the event that you do proceed with divorce, you will have all of your ducks in a row and make it much smoother for both you and your attorney.

Here are some things you should attend to when contemplating divorce:

1. Dissolving a marriage often causes the woman to have no resources to money. Put away cash in order to be able to have access to some money in the event of divorce. You will not only need money to hire an attorney, but money for personal expenses as the case begins. The more you can squirrel away, the better.

2. Review your marital assets. Make a list of everything that is in your name, your spouse’s name and jointly held assets. List anything either of you inherited and things you owned before you married if it is a big item.

3. Prepare a list of all debts and obligations including mortgages, car payments, loans, and credit card bills. Be sure you also note the amount of the debt and the amount of the monthly payments and who normally pays them.

4. Copy any insurance policies, pension plan statements, investment statements, and bank statements. It is wise to also copy tax returns for the last couple of years.

5. If you are covered under your spouse’s health insurance, be sure to have a check-up and take care of any preventative tests such as mammograms and pap smears. This also applies to dental and optical insurance if you have any. Have your eyes checked, buy contacts or glasses and have your teeth cleaned and any required work done.

6. Take your car in and have it gone over to make sure it is in top working condition.

7. If you have a safety deposit box review what is in it and make an inventory list of the contents. If you have jewelry that is kept in a safety deposit box it likely is worth a tidy sum so it is a good idea to snap a photo of it as well.

8. Make sure your name is on the title to your car, the house, safety deposit box and any ownership documents for real estate or family businesses. If not, address it with your spouse and have it added.

Once you are ready to file it is important to have all of the items you have collected for your attorney. In addition, do not move out of your home without discussing it with your attorney. Do not remove large sums of money from accounts and do not quit your job.  Being prepared will serve you well as you proceed with your divorce and help you feel like you are in control.

Nothing herein constitutes a legal opinion.



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