Three Basic Considerations When Preparing for Divorce
Ask anybody who has been through a divorce and he or she will invariably tell you that the process can be very challenging. Even the most amicable of situations can be complicated by a number of unforeseen difficulties. While you will never be able to completely remove all stress and challenges from divorce, there are a few things that you can do to prepare. These considerations are relatively simple in nature, but will likely require you to take an objective view of the situation, and may be more easily accomplished with the help of a qualified divorce attorney.
Know What You Have
If you are already considering divorce, it is time to begin taking stock of what you own, both as a couple and individually. Make a comprehensive list of your assets and include everything you possibly can, including real estate, vehicles, investment accounts, household furniture, artwork, and anything else that may have value.
In addition to knowing what you have, you need know what it is worth. Begin looking for professional help, particularly if you and your spouse are at a point where you can still work together. Appraisers and financial professionals can help you establish the value of your home and retirement accounts, for example, so that, when the time comes, you can divide your marital property equitably.
Know What You Owe
On the other opposite side of the equation, you need to have an understanding of your current marital and individual debt. How much is left on your mortgage and are you upside down? Find out how much you owe on vehicles, credit cards, and student loans. Based on that information, you will be in a better position to decide if you should attempt to clear your debt before divorce or have it allocated between the parties during the process.
Know What You Want
This consideration can cover a wide variety of topics, all of which are very important concerns. Regarding assets and property, identify the specific things you wish to keep, such as the house, a particular car, or piece of furniture. Be ready, then, to negotiate in order to do so.
More important than property, however, is what you want for your children, if you have them. Ideally, you should want whatever is best for them, regardless of your personal preference or convenience. Work to develop a plan with your spouse regarding the care and upbringing of your children, and then live up to your end of the agreement.
Finally, decide what kind of divorce you want. Realize that not every divorce needs to play out as a bitter battle in front of a judge. You could negotiate the entire divorce agreement with the help of a mediator or an attorney long before you ever set foot inside a courtroom. Establishing an organized plan for your divorce can greatly improve your chances of a lower-stress, efficient divorce proceeding.
Preparing for divorce can be tough, but doing so properly can save a great deal of time and money during the divorce process. If you are considering divorce, contact an experienced Kane County divorce attorney today. We will review your situation and help you develop a divorce plan that will best serve the needs of your family, both now and well into the future.