If you’re heading toward a divorce, you’ll need to quickly get ready to protect yourself and focus on getting your finances in order. Every divorce is an emotionally draining experience, but you need to keep your eye on the bigger picture. By taking precautions, you’ll be in good shape whenever difficult asset distribution issues arise. Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself financially in a divorce.
The first thing to consider is whether you want to go the traditional route—hiring an attorney, spending a lot of money on legal fees, having to go to court numerous times, and getting caught up in an atmosphere of conflict that often escalates—or try a much less expensive, more respectful, resolution-centered method that eliminates all those negative aspects of traditional divorce. The San Diego divorce mediators from Divorce Options San Diego will work with you and your spouse to create a mutually satisfactory agreement that protects the interests of the entire family and leaves couples feeling ready to move on to the next stages of their lives. If you still want to take the conventional route through the courts, the following tips can help.
Locate and Describe All of Your Assets
By identifying and organizing your assets, you’ll become knowledgeable about the value of your assets and where you can gain access to them, which will allow you to sort through what counts as your separate property and your spouse’s, such as real property, bank accounts, retirement and investment accounts, and other assets. You can then put together a meaningful financial statement that will clarify how best to handle things in your divorce and beyond its completion or finalization.
Keep Everything in Writing
When you have written evidence, you’ll be better able to prove what’s yours and be able to protect it against any claims by your spouse. Make paper copies of account statements and tax forms, and print everything out. An electronic version may not be enough to keep your spouse from freezing you out of your joint accounts.
Have Cash at the Ready
You don’t want to get caught without enough money to pay for things on your own. However, be careful to not take too much out of any joint accounts, as this could get you into some serious trouble with the courts.
Get Familiar with Your State’s Laws
You should get to know your state’s community property laws to be able to intelligently make the right decisions. Do some research online, or use an attorney specializing in divorce law of your state.
Organize Your Thoughts
You’ll need to be able to decide what you want as well as what you need during the divorce process and thereafter. Often spouses will try to agree on a settlement of their assets, but they can’t really do so without the benefit of some clear thinking and planning. You’ll want to make decisions you can live with for the rest of your life. Take a hard look at your finances. Determine how much you’ll need to maintain the right standard of living for you and your kids, if any.
San Diego divorce mediation can protect your interests just as well, if not better, than the contentious attorney-centered divorce process. Divorce mediation is much less expensive than using attorneys, and instead of framing divorce as a win-lose situation, divorce mediation focuses on producing sustainable mutually beneficial outcomes for you, your spouse, and your children. At Divorce Options San Diego, we work with both spouses, thoroughly analyzing your financial, legal, psychological, and social circumstances to develop mutually beneficial resolutions and transition plans that allow you to start the next phase of your lives with a sense of satisfaction and optimism. Call us today at (858) 281-2628 to find out how you can avoid the stress, high costs, and heartache of going through a divorce the traditional way.