If your divorce proceedings are fast approaching, is the prospect of property division making you frantic?
The more organized you are, the more smoothly this phase of the divorce will go. Financial preparation is essential. Begin by making a list of your assets and debts.
Pulling together your financial records takes time, but once accomplished you will have a good idea of what you will need to live on in the next stage of your life. The basics include:
- Bank account statements
- Retirement account statements
- Investment account statements
- Credit card statements
- Recent pay stubs
- Documentation for loans, such as your mortgage and auto loan
- Income tax returns
List both your marital and separate assets and debts. Once completed, give a set of your financial records to your attorney but keep copies for yourself.
If you have not already done so, begin tracking your income and expenses. Include items such as food, clothing, home repair, entertainment, transportation and childcare costs. This information will be valuable to you in preparing a post-divorce budget. Remember that instead of two income streams there will only be one.
Now that you have gathered all your financial documents together, you may feel like celebrating a little. Resist the thought of going on a shopping spree. As someone who is approaching divorce, you should spend conservatively. You should also avoid making any major financial decisions, such as changing the beneficiaries on your life insurance policy, until the divorce is final. With your finances in order, you can face property division with confidence.