news & events

News & Events
6 Critical Steps to Take Before and During a Divorce

6 Critical Steps to Take Before and During a Divorce

If you and your spouse are going through a divorce, it is important that you make a list of things to prepare ahead of time to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. Here are some important steps you should take if you are in the midst of a divorce:

  1. Find out if you can avoid going to court.

If you and your spouse can come to an agreement on everything that a court would have to settle for you, you may be able to avoid getting a court involved. Settling disagreements with your spouse about child support and custody, how to divide your assets and debts, and alimony, can save you and your spouse time, money and the stress of going to trial.

  1. Determine what assets and debts jointly belong to you and your spouse.

Compile a list of all assets and debts you and your spouse jointly own or owe. This can include bank accounts, property, vehicles, stocks, bonds, credit card debts, student loans, and medical bills. File away all financial documents you have related to you and your spouse’s assets and debts so you don’t lose anything you might need later on. Be thorough; you don’t want to miss anything that you might later on wish you had.

  1. Calculate your income.

You will need to present documentation of you and your spouse’s respective incomes. If you work a salaried job, you will need to present both your most recent pay stubs and your most recent income tax return. Alternatively, if you or your spouse are self-employed, you will need copies of your bank account statements and financial business statements so the court can sort out what your respective incomes are. An attorney can help you with this process.

  1. Close all of your joint financial accounts.

As soon as possible, close all of your and your spouse’s joint financial accounts. This will prevent or mitigate disputes over who is responsible for payments made after the two of you have separated. It might prevent you from having to pay for expenses intentionally racked up by your spouse after you agreed to divorce.
Try to come to an agreement with your spouse about paying any balances owed. If you can’t, you should have the accounts frozen. This will help the court settle your disputes for you without you or your spouse having confused things even more by continuing to use the account after you separated.

  1. Open new financial accounts in your name only.

You should set up a new bank account and get a new credit card exclusively in your name. A new, private bank account will help you keep your finances private and organized, and will make it easier for the court to give you the assets you are owed after divorce proceedings have concluded. Having your own credit card can help you avoid a possible decrease in your credit score resulting from the divorce.

  1. Update your will and other estate planning documents.

Your divorce will change what assets you own and who you want inheriting your money and property after you die. Once your divorce is finalized, you will want to update your will and estate plan so your assets don’t go anywhere you don’t want them after you’ve passed away.

If you are going through a divorce and want to take all steps possible to prepare for a smooth and favorable end to your marriage, contact McNeelyLaw today at 317-825-5110 to talk to an experienced Indiana family law attorney who can help navigate you through your case.

This McNeelyLaw LLP publication should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion of any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own lawyer on any specific legal questions you may have concerning your situation.

Welcome To Our Blog. Looking for a specific post?