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Three things to do in the months leading up to a divorce

Divorce is not something that anybody goes into marriage planning on. However, as MarketWatch reports, about 2 million divorces are filed in the United States each year and about half of all marriages ultimately end in divorce. With such daunting statistics, it is only prudent for those who feel as though their marriage may be coming to an end to prepare beforehand. Divorce is a major and often stressful undertaking, but doing these three things can help mitigate some of the pressure.

Keep copies of financial records

As USA Today notes, good recordkeeping can make all the difference between a relatively simple and painless divorce and a protracted and contested one. When both spouses are in possession of a complete record of the financial assets and liabilities that they own, then a lot of the guesswork about how much their marital estate is really worth is removed. As such, each spouse should ensure they have copies of all their financial records, including bank and credit card statements, income tax returns, pay stubs, insurance policies, retirement and investment accounts, and business-related statements.

Be mindful of spending

Those who know how much they spend – and how much they will need in the future – start from a much better bargaining position when it comes time to negotiate a divorce. That’s why keeping a budget and anticipating what one’s budget will be after a divorce are so important. Remember, don’t just split one’s current expenses in half and assume that’s all that’s needed to cover post-divorce life. Some expenses, like accommodation, gas, and utilities, are not so simply divided.

Tracking childcare duties

For those who have children, negotiating child custody will be an extremely important aspect of a divorce. Both parents will have to decide what custody arrangement makes the most sense. While in some cases a 50/50 split and joint custody will be best, in others the child may be better off spending most of their time with one parent. Tracking who does most of the childcare duties during the marriage can help determine later on which custody arrangement will be the least disruptive for the children.

Family law attorney

Another way to make sure the divorce process goes a little easier is by building a team of professionals, including a family law attorney. An attorney will have the expertise to ensure that one is negotiating a divorce settlement from a position of strength. By talking to an attorney today, those going through a divorce will have somebody on their side advocating for their best interests going forward.

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