Johnson & Core LLP
How to Ready Your Finances When Facing Divorce
If you are facing a divorce, you are likely overwhelmed and feeling vulnerable and anxious about going through such a huge, life-altering process. You may not have expected or planned for this, and may be at a loss for what to do next.
That’s where we come in. There are things you can do right away to protect yourself financially and give yourself a head start. Divorce cases are decided on evidence. The following steps will help you get a good deal of the evidence-gathering groundwork out of the way. The sooner this groundwork is done, the sooner your attorney can start building your case.
- Make a Personal Information List: There are certain pieces of personal information that are needed again and again in the course of a divorce. It’s helpful to have that information handy. Make a list with the following information (backing each item up with documentation, if possible):
- The full names, birthdays, and social security numbers of both partners and any children.
- Addresses where you lived together, as well as current addresses.
- Career information, including the current or most recent occupation of both partners, as well as experience, skill, and education levels.
- Important dates, including approximately when your relationship began, when you got engaged when you got married, and when you decided to separate.
- Identify Your Assets and Debts: Make a list of all of your assets and your debts. Include as much documentation as you can for both, such as records, deeds, and receipts, as well as pictures of physical assets.
- Examples of assets include:
- Physical property and real estate.
- Physical things you own, like furniture, electronics, clothing, books, and items with sentimental value.
- Cars and recreational vehicles.
- Personal and shared bank accounts
- Retirement accounts
- Life insurance policies
- Pensions Stocks and bonds
- Intellectual property
- Rights to royalties
- Get a Clear Picture of Your Income and Expenses: Make a list of all sources of income for both partners, including tax data. Then, calculate your average expenses in any given month. This will help paint a better picture of your financial situation for a judge.
- Plan for the Process: While divorce doesn’t have to be financially devastating, but the process puts a dent in most peoples’ budgets. Try to make a realistic budget for the duration of the process (usually 4-12 months). This can include attorneys’ fees, as well as court fees, time taken off work, money spent on housing, food, and other essentials, and any other expenses that may be created or increased by the divorce. A budget can help you avoid getting blindsided by costs and can demonstrate the financial impacts of the divorce to the court.
- Hire a great divorce lawyer. The most important thing you can do to protect yourself in a divorce is to make sure you are represented by a qualified, experienced, highly rated attorney with an outstanding track record. Your attorney can make or break your case, which can have a huge impact on the rest of your life.
If you are in Columbus, Ohio or the Central Ohio area and you need a top-of-the-line divorce attorney, your next call should be to Johnson and Core, LLP. We are extremely well-versed in divorce law and know how to get results for our clients. Our personalized, hands-on approach has earned us a stellar reputation in the Ohio family law community, which we strive to live up to every day. We will help you get through your divorce and come out better on the other side.
Call (614) 686-4369 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today.