Pre-Divorce Planning

If the event a spouse starts to contemplate divorce, a certain amount of planning needs to take place. Divorcing creates a much greater financial struggle than many people realize. Pre-divorce planning is not intended to give you the upper hand or help you take your spouse for all the you can, but rather being mindful of the fact that divorces often get very messy and it is best to plan with a clear mind. The more planning you do pre-divorce, prior to the filing, the better your situation will likely be post-divorce.

Areas many people look into while pre-divorce planning include:

  • Getting a copy of your credit report. It is common that during a divorce, parties’ find out their spouse has used their spouse’s information to secure loans and lines of credit, often without the consent of that person. When two people divorce, each party is responsible for one-half of the debt incurred during the marriage, therefore knowing about the debt prior to the divorce is important.
  • Reviewing your estate planning documents to ensure your estate goes to the intended beneficiaries.
  • Open a separate checking account. Often after a divorce filing has been made, the other spouse clears out the balance of any joint checking accounts.
  • Obtain pertinent documents such as real estate documents, credit card and banking statements, loan documents, paycheck stubs or salary information for both parties, tax returns, title statements, investment accounts, statements for retirement and pension accounts and insurance benefits.
  • Visiting a financial planner or begin working on a budget that will keep you and your family out of financial crisis.
  • Calculating an estimate of temporary child and/or spousal support.
  • Learning the various options for dissolving your relationship .
  • Explore strategies for ‘damage control’.

Once you have determined you and your spouse have gone past the point of reconciliation, planning is important. Pre-divorce planning should be discussed with an attorney with experience. Contact our office to set up a consultation today.

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