Understanding the Divorce Process
According to family law firms around the country, once the joy and merriment of the holiday season comes to an end, many couples start to question the stability of their own relationship.
Preparing to file for divorce can be emotionally and financially strenuous for both parties and their families.
To alleviate some of the stress, individuals should thoroughly research their options and understand the divorce process, says Mischelle Luckett, a mom and family law attorney in Chicago. Along with her firm, Luckett and Ashford, she put together a list of top three things to consider before filing:
Analyze Your Cash Situation
To build your financial strategy, you should analyze both your spouse’s and your cash revenue for the previous six months. Determine if you have enough money for legal fees, housing and other necessary short-term expenses during the divorce process or whether you need more time to gather the funds. Also, assess any other monetary holdings you and your spouse have, such as stock, business interest, and other investments. If your budget allows, you could hire a financial planner to assess your current fiscal standing and, hopefully, make for an easier divorce settlement.
Collect All Documents
Another crucial step is to collect all documents. This includes tax returns (especially your spouse’s), bank statements, wills, trusts, loan documents and insurance policies. You should also gather documents that can verify separate property, such as inheritance or family endowments.
Decide Living Arrangements
A couple’s home is usually their most valuable financial asset, which makes it hard to decide who should move out of the marital home. Not to mention you may have an emotional attachment to your property and children who live there, making the decision much harder. One spouse cannot make the other leave the marital home.