If you are getting ready to file for divorce, or are thinking about filing, there are a few things you can do to make the process smoother. Here are ten things you can do to help prepare for your divorce settlement negotiations:
1. Organize your finances. Getting to know and understand what you own, either individually or jointly, can help make the process of settlement easier and can give your attorney a chance to counsel you on the right path. Collecting the following documents could be helpful:
- Tax Returns
- Bank Statements, Investment statements
- IRA and other retirement documents
- Insurance policies
- Real estate documents or leases
- Trust documents
- Records related to credit card debt
- Vital records like Birth & marriage certificates and any pre or postnuptial agreements
2. Open a credit card, checking and savings accounts under your own name. Arrange for your salary to be deposited into your new account.
3. Establish a joint account for interim family expenses.
4. Hire a good attorney. Your divorce attorney can play a vital role in your future and that of your children. Choose wisely.
5. Evaluate your income and your budget after the divorce.
6. Determine the educational and other needs of your children and use the child support worksheet to figure out how much child support you may be entitled to.
7. Determine if you are eligible for alimony. http://www.nycourts.gov/divorce/calculator.pdf
8. Figure out how to keep/get health insurance for yourself and your children if you get divorced.
9. Get a handle on your retirement accounts and those of your spouse. Your attorney can help with this.
10. Take a deep breath and relax. Divorce does not have to be a nasty process. A good matrimonial attorney can fight for what you deserve and remember to cooperate when it will result in a better outcome.