Preparing for Divorce in the New Year
With 2023 behind us, many people are setting goals and making resolutions for 2024. If divorce is one of the major changes being considered this year, then there are several steps to take to prepare for the legal process ahead. This is especially important for those who aren’t familiar with the finances of their household. Below, we discuss the important things to start doing if you plan to end a marriage this year.
#1: Financial Information
Sometimes a spouse will cut off the other 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 having 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 addition 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.
McKinley Irvin represents clients in a variety of family law matters. If you have questions about divorce, please give us a call at 206-397-0399 or schedule a consultation online.