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Matrimonial and Family Law Blog

Friday, December 21, 2018

Preparing for a Divorce? Follow These 7 Steps

It is never easy ending a marriage, even when you and your spouse are ending the marriage on good terms. When you are preparing for a divorce, it is important that you take certain steps to protect your legal rights and your best interests. One of the first steps you should take is to find an experienced New York family law lawyer you can trust. Your attorney will provide support, advice, and guidance that will help you navigate the divorce process.

Do not assume that your spouse will remain amicable and willing to compromise throughout the divorce process. You should take steps to prepare for the divorce as though your spouse will contest each divorce issue. If you and your spouse can part ways amicably, that is great. However, if the divorce becomes contentious, taking these steps will ensure you are prepared.

Seven Steps to Take As You Prepare for Your Divorce

1. Gather important papers

Before you tell your spouse you want a divorce, obtain copies of all important documents. Financial documents you want to make sure you copy include:

  • Bank account records
  • Deeds and titles
  • Insurance policies
  • Tax returns
  • Online accounts
  • Credit card and debt statements
  • Prenuptial or marital agreements
  • Retirement accounts
  • Credit reports
  • Other financial accounts

2. Make a List of All Assets

 

It is important to create an inventory of your marital assets when preparing for a divorce. If you have documentation related to the value of an asset, you need to include a copy of that documentation with your financial records for your New York divorce attorney. You are at a disadvantage during the divorce if you are unaware of your assets.

 

3. Create a Personal Budget

 

It is also important to understand how much income you have available from each resource and the amount of your monthly expenses.  A monthly budget can help you determine the amount of money you need to maintain the standard of living you enjoyed during the marriage. This factor may be important when negotiating spousal support.

4. Set Aside Money for Necessities and Emergencies

If possible, try to set aside money while you are preparing for a divorce. Once your spouse knows that you are leaving, he or she may attempt to empty bank accounts or block your access to assets. Building a safety net can help you avoid using credit to pay living expenses and reduce the stress you may experience if your spouse cuts off your access to liquid assets.

5. Open New Accounts in Your Name Only

Do not use a bank where you have a joint account with your spouse or where your spouse does business. You need an account at a new bank in your name only. Your New York divorce attorney will give you instructions about withdrawing funds from any joint accounts to deposit in your new individual account. You may also want to consider applying for a credit card in your name only.

6. Discuss Changing Your Estate Planning Documents with Your Attorney

You want to take steps to ensure that your spouse does not make medical decisions for you after your separation. Your attorney can advise you about changing your will, beneficiaries, living will, powers of attorney, and medical directives.

7. Open a Post Office Box

 

You need to ensure that you have a secure mailing address to prevent your spouse from receiving confidential information. A post office box allows you to receive mail at a secure location that only you can access.

Consult with a New York Divorce Attorney As Soon As Possible

An experienced divorce lawyer can help you protect your best interests and the best interests of your children before, during, and after a divorce. Contact Gassman Baiamonte Gruner, P.C. to speak with a New York divorce lawyer today to help you avoid mistakes when preparing for a divorce.


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