There are preparations one goes through when getting married. Once the proposal has been made and accepted, everything from the wedding to combining finances to estate planning needs to be addressed. You are starting on what you hope to be a wonderful part of your life, so completing these sorts of tasks is not burdensome.
Much as you prepare to be married, in the event you are contemplating divorce, or have in fact made the decision to file for divorce, you should prepare. CBS News has a good article which addressed “money mistakes” to avoid in a divorce. Within that article, two points were made concerning preparing to get divorced.
The first point is to get a handle on your financial situation by gathering information regarding bank, investment, and retirement accounts. This would entail copying or scanning recent statements for each account and compiling this information will give you at least a preliminary start on compiling a balance sheet. Also, you should gather information concerning debts, including mortgage, credit cards, and auto loans. By getting a handle on assets and debts of the marriage, you will educate yourself regarding monthly expenses and increase your understanding of the necessary cash flow you may need post-divorce.
On a related point, make an inventory of your personal property. While disputes over what personal property is owned are not common, it does happen. For instance, perhaps the husband had an expensive watch he bought during the marriage that doesn’t show up on his balance sheet. Or maybe an expensive piece of art goes missing during the divorce. By completing an inventory before you file, you will be prepared to address such issues.
The second notable point in the article is don’t wing it. There are certainly circumstances that could lead someone to want to file for divorce the next day. However, if possible, slow down. By filing too quickly, you could find yourself in a difficult position. For example, in response to a Petition for Dissolution, your spouse might liquidate a joint bank account, leaving you with no funds to pay bills or hire an attorney. On a related note, you should open a bank account in your name individually before filing so you have an account in which to deposit funds to which only you have access.
If you have questions concerning what you should do before filing for divorce, feel free to call us at (317) 353-3600 or click here to contact us via email if you have any questions.