The more marital assets you have, the more overwhelming the prospect of property division will seem as you approach divorce.
However, with sufficient preparation, you can face property division with greater confidence. To that end, here are five tips to help you succeed.
1. Gather the necessary documents
Pulling financial documents together takes time, so begin as soon as you can. Basic information includes:
- Bank accounts
- Retirement account statements
- Investment account statements
- Loan documents, including mortgage information
- Credit card statements
- Recent pay stubs
- Income tax returns
Your divorce attorney can advise you about the necessary documentation and will want a complete list of your assets and debts.
2. Track your expenses
Begin tracking your household expenses for food, clothing, home maintenance, transportation, entertainment, childcare and any other line item you spend money for. This information will help the court determine how to split assets during property division.
3. Avoid making major financial decisions
You may think you should change the beneficiary designations in your will, your life insurance policy or similar accounts. However, wait until the divorce is behind you since some changes will occur during the proceedings.
4. Spend conservatively
You and your soon-to-be ex-spouse can continue to use your joint accounts, but do not overspend. Buy what you need but refrain from going on a “spree.” The court frowns on this behavior and being irresponsible with money could harm you regarding property division.
5. Request help from professionals
You need support and advice when facing divorce. Do not hesitate to ask for assistance from accountants, financial advisers and other professionals. Rely on your attorney to answer questions and guide you through the different phases of the divorce process. Add to that the preparations you have made, and you will face property division with greater confidence.