What to Expect During the Divorce Process
Divorce can be a scary and difficult time, but it does not have to be when prepared with the right tools. Being prepared going into a divorce can prove beneficial. There are steps that you can take in order to minimize the impact that divorce has.
The length of a divorce can depend on several factors. The biggest factor is that it depends on the level of agreement between both parties on all issues. For instance, if the parties agree on everything such as “custody of children, visitation rules, what to do with the house and furniture, who pays the bills, what about alimony, etc., the divorce can be completed with 30 days. If there is a high level of disagreement on the issues, the whole matter can take as long as 18 months to 2 years. There is no reason a divorce case should ever take longer than 2 years to complete. The average length of a divorce case involving minor children is 9 months, less if no minor children.” (Bluesuitmom.com)
How to prepare for a divorce:
Gather all financial documentation – You should immediately start gathering all of your financial records to provide to your lawyer.
Know your household expenses – Get an idea of where all the money goes in your home and documentation (this is especially important if your spouse was the one who kept track of the finances). It is also important to know your spouses’ salary, benefits, retirement plans, and accounts. Also, get a copy of your credit report so you can see if any accounts were created in your name without your knowledge!
Determine what you own – Make a list of all possible assets you acquired during your marriage as you might have to split items with your spouse. Gather all documentation regarding each asset such as who purchased the item, when it was purchased, where the item was purchased, the cost, and the present value. Also, gather any appraisals related to real estate. These items will be provided to your lawyer.
Keep a budget – It’s important to keep documentation relating to your income and expenses which will come in handy when determining the amount of support awarded, as well as give you an idea of what it will take to live on after your divorce.
Open new accounts – Create new checking, savings, and credit cards. This step is extremely important for those individuals whose accounts were all under their spouses’ name.
Going through a divorce, naturally, can take an emotional toll on an individual. Luckily you don’t have to take the burden of divorce alone. Talk to family, friends, or even a counselor to reduce stress. Know that you aren’t alone and people are always willing to support you through this tough time!
Written by: Sharan Kaur, Rust Built, Marketing Services
“The Basics of Divorce.” Bluesuitmom.com. http://www.bluesuitmom.com/family/relationships/divorce.html.
“9 Critical Steps Women Should Take To Prepare For Divorce.” Huffingtonpost.com.
“Before divorce, you should get financially prepared.” USAToday.com. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/perfi/basics/story/2012-09-09/lifestages-divorce-finances/57688086/1.