Organize Your Finances
Most issues of the issues the parties litigate in a divorce involve finances to some degree: property division, spousal support, and child support. Therefore, one of the most important things you can do during divorce proceedings is to organize and keep track of your finances. For many people, this does not come intuitively and might have contributed to their divorce in the first place. However, the benefits of doing this cannot be overemphasized.
Gather your financial records. The first step of organizing your finances involves gathering your records so you can get a complete picture of your financial condition. This can be a very time-consuming task because all financial transactions that take place during your marriage might be relevant to issues like asset division and domestic support obligations.
Financial records that you’ll want to gather include:
- Tax returns
- Banking statements
- Credit card statements
- Business financial statements
- IRS forms like W-2s and 1099s
- Receipts and other documents for significant transactions
Understand and budget your expenses. In addition to collecting and preparing a comprehensive record of your finances throughout your marriage, you should develop a good understanding of your current financial situation and create a budget to manage your money for the future. Add up all your monthly expenses and income to make sure you know what your financial standing is.
Separate your finances by opening your bank account. Many married couples have joint financial accounts, like checking and savings accounts. Married couples might also have an estate plan with jointly owned property. If you haven’t done so already, you should establish separate financial accounts apart from your spouse. If you have an estate plan with your former spouse, you should speak with an attorney and estate planner about what you can do to separate your assets pending divorce.
Consult Experts and Professionals
Divorce proceedings often affect several aspects of your life. If possible, you should gather a team of experts and professionals to assist you with the divorce process. Early in the divorce process, you should find and consult with a divorce attorney and establish a game plan for the entire divorce process. From there, you can reach out to financial experts—such as Certified Public Accountants—to help you plan your life in the face of your pending divorce.
Your team of experts and professionals should include a reputable child therapist if you and your former spouse have minor children. A child therapist can work with your children and provide them with guidance throughout the divorce process. A child therapist can also serve as a potential expert witness in proceedings such as child custody and support.
Establish and Expand a Personal Support Network
The mental and emotional stress that divorce produces is no small matter. According to the American Institute of Stress, divorce ranks second only to “death of a spouse” as the most stressful life event, based on the Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory. High amounts of stress are closely linked to developing health problems.
To mitigate the negative impact of divorce on your physical and mental health, you should assemble a network of people you can trust to get your back when times are tough. These people might be close friends and family as well as mental health professionals.
Keep in mind that even the closest of friends and relatives have a limited capacity for fulfilling your personal needs—don’t forget that they have their own lives too. It is also important to remember that you will be in a major lawsuit for months or maybe even years (but hopefully not). As a result, it is inadvisable to share sensitive information about your case openly.
To make up for any limitations in your support network, you should consider keeping a personal journal. Furthermore, the benefits of regularly seeing a mental health professional are often immeasurable. Plus, communications between you and your therapist are privileged and confidential for the most part.
Contact Neshanian Law Firm for Legal Advice
For comprehensive legal advice about your divorce, you should consult an attorney from Neshanian Law Firm. Our legal team has helped Irvine residents and their families in a variety of family law-related legal disputes, including divorce.
To schedule an appointment with us, call (949) 577-7935 or complete our online request form today.