Everyone talks about how divorce can be an emotionally draining process, but they don’t often discuss how financially draining the divorce process can be. If you’re not prepared, you can set yourself up for financial failure and pain.
Here at The Fairell Firm, we regularly offer divorce help to our current and prospective clients. In today’s blog, we’ll discuss six things you should do before you file for divorce and continue the divorce process. Meet with our local divorce attorneys today for a consultation or to proceed with your divorce. Our team of female divorce lawyers in Atlanta has the experience, qualifications, and compassion you’re looking for.
Be Familiar With Your Money
One spouse often handles the bills, payments, and expenses, and while this may work in a marriage, it can complicate matters when the divorce process begins. This is because one spouse isn’t aware of what expenses they currently have or what future expenses they may have when they are no longer living with their spouse.
To familiarize yourself, go through your joint bank account to know what your monthly bills look like or intercept bills as they arrive. This will give you an idea of what expenses you’ll regularly have and will give your divorce lawyer an idea of your financial situation.
Reduce Your Retirement Contribution
Not all divorce lawyers or financial advisors will recommend this, but at The Fairell Firm, we believe this is key. When you get a divorce, every dollar you put away is subject to division. Investing is always a good idea, but with an impending divorce, that money could better serve you as a usable asset.
Get Copies Of Your Documents
These documents will all be requested during litigation, but if you gather your tax returns, bank statements, statements from investment accounts, and other documents ahead of time, you’ll save money and speed up the process. The best divorce lawyers will tell you exactly what you need.
Don’t Make Any Big Purchases
Spending money doesn’t protect your money. If you were to buy a house, boat, motorcycle, or make another large purchase in an effort to protect your finances, you actually hurt yourself. You’re married, so all assets are considered joint and these could be handed over to your soon-to-be ex.
Understand Your Assets
Not all dollars are equal. For example, $100,000 toward a mortgage isn’t making you any money or advancing your future, whereas $100,000 in a retirement fund is. The best divorce lawyers understand this and take this into account when helping you with the divorce process.
Look Into Social Security
This is often overlooked in divorce litigation, but it is extremely important — especially for older clients going through a divorce. You must be married for at least 10 years to get your ex-spouse’s social security, at which point you’ll each get up to 50 percent of the ex’s social security benefits once they reach retirement age.
Looking for divorce help in Atlanta? The Fairell Firm is here for you. Contact our local divorce attorneys today to get started.