Four steps to prepare for your divorce

During the merriment of the holidays, many people put off making hard decisions. For those in unhappy marriages, one of such decisions is getting a divorce. However, with the arrival of the New Year, many find that it is time to take action. If you are considering a divorce and a fresh start in the New Year, here are four things that you can do to prepare yourself for the divorce process.

Establish credit

Many people find that they have a hard time purchasing a car or home after a divorce, because they shared credit with their spouses. As a result, it is a good idea to start building credit in your own name before the divorce begins. To do this, get a credit card, but use it sparingly and pay it off in full each month. Doing this will allow you to build up a good credit score without accumulating large amounts of debt. To protect yourself and your credit from possibly being responsible for debts accumulated by an angry spouse during the divorce, consider closing all joint credit accounts.

Get a financial picture

One of the goals of divorce is to make sure that the marital assets and debts are split equitably. In order to do this effectively, it is important to know what is owned and owed. Make a list of all of the assets, including lesser-known ones such as artwork, pension plans (or other retirement plans), inheritances and belongings. Additionally, gather together copies of:

• Credit card statements

• Bank statements

• Tax returns

• Student loan statements

• Mortgage information

• Statements for any other loan

Speak with your children

If you are a parent, divorce can be an especially stressful time for your children. Take the time to sit down with your children and explain to them that although you and your spouse will no longer be together, you will never stop being a loving parent to them. It may be helpful to seek help from a family therapist to ensure that this conversation stays positive and productive.

Hire an attorney

Divorce is a complex and multifaceted process. During this process, it may be necessary to divide your assets and debts fairly, decide on a child support and custody arrangement, and determine whether alimony will be paid. Because of what is at stake, it is important to have the guidance of an experienced divorce attorney throughout the process. The experienced family law attorneys at LaRocca Hornik Rosen Greenberg & Patti LLC will work on your behalf to address these issues in the most positive way possible.