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Divorce Planning

Divorce Planning


A Quick Guide to Divorce Planning



Are there step I should take for divorce planning?



No divorce is the same, and the steps often vary depending on the type and conditions within your divorce.  You should always contact a family law attorney if you are preparing for a divorce.  They will likely provide you with most of the steps below for divorce planning.  



Step 1



If your spouse is willing to cooperate, you should make a list and divide all of your non-marital property and assets.  These types of assets may include inherited property, workers’ compensation, and items and gifts owned before the marriage.  If you don’t separate your non-marital assets, you may lose some of your own property at the final divorce settlement.  



Step 2



You should make sure that your name is listed on separate utility accounts and investments.  You should also open a credit card in your own name to help you establish credit in the future.  



Step 3



You should also check on your financial holdings on a regular basis.  Make sure you keep records for bank accounts, individual IRAs and 401Ks, and stocks.  Keep records of all these finances at your home and at the place of your employment.  



Step 4



Once you have all of your individual assets and property accounted for, you should begin closing joint accounts such as joint-credit card accounts.  You should ask the credit card company to freeze the card, even if it means you have to pay the balance on the account.  



Step 5



Photograph all of your own assets around the home before you or your spouse moves out of the house.  If you relocate, it’s sometimes hard to remember all of your assets.  If you forget about these assets, you may not receive these pieces of property once the final divorce settlement is reached.  



Step 6



If you have children and are involved in a custody case, you should do everything in your power to stay within the marital residence.  If you move to a small property on a quick decision, you may affect your amount of child custody.  



Step 7



If you are involved in a child custody case, you want to obtain all materials that relate to your child.  The right kinds of documents and pieces of evidence can help prove the care provided by each parent during the marriage.  Some of the documents and pieces of evidence you should consider collecting include:



• All family photographs and photographs of your child’s extracurricular activities 



• Social security cards, birth certificates, and copies of any driver’s licenses or other identification



• Medical records and the contact information for all physicians and counselors for the children



• All academic records including report cards and disciplinary reports



Step 8



After you have followed the following steps listed above, you should search and hire an accredited lawyer.  Talk to people you know and research your lawyer’s statistics.  Your lawyer will help you fill out all of the appropriate forms, tell you when you must submit the forms, and try and reach the best settlement.