Preparing for Divorce in the New Year
With 2020 behind us, many folks are setting goals and making resolutions for 2021. If divorce is one of the major changes being considering this year, then there are several steps one should take to prepare for the legal process ahead. This is especially important if one isn’t familiar with the finances of their household. Below, we discuss the important things one should start gathering if they want to end their marriage this year.
#1: Financial Information
We have seen spouses get cut off from credit cards and even withdraw funds from joint accounts after they reveal they want to file for divorce. That is why it is important to collect financial statements for the past few years before you have the divorce talk with your spouse. Important financial documents you will need for your divorce case include:
- Credit card statements
- Personal bank and investment statements
- Copies of tax returns for the last two years
- W2s, 1099s, 401(k), IRA, and pension statements
All of the documents listed above will be necessary to determine the value and existence of certain assets and the community estate.
#2: Establish Your Own Finances
To avoid being cut off from funds, you should make sure you have a separate bank account with enough money to cover at least a month’s worth of expenses and the retainer fee for a divorce lawyer. You should also create a safe place to send and receive information for any new accounts you create. It is also a good idea to get in the habit of keeping receipts, recording transactions, and checking your bank account regularly to help you document expenses so you can come up with a realistic monthly budget for a single household.
#3: Consult with a Divorce Lawyer
In additon to gathering and preparing the documents we have discussed so far, you should also consult with a knowledgeable divorce lawyer to learn more about your options and what to expect throughout the legal process. Although divorce cases are emotionally draining and time-consuming, meeting with an attorney to discuss issues that may arise in advance can give you the confidence you need move on to the next chapter of your life.
At McKinley Irvin, we proudly represent clients of all backgrounds in a variety of divorce and family law matters. Please give us a call to schedule a consultation with one of our legal professionals.