Just thinking about ending a marriage can lead to a roller coaster of emotions. While there may be some excitement over a fresh start, spouses can fixate on anger and intense, negative feelings towards their spouse combined with fear of an uncertain future.
But there is a way to keep these emotions in check by focusing on the things you can control. Being organized on the front end is vital for an equitable result when dividing marital assets. The bonuses include demystifying the process and reducing stress.
Three steps to get ready for divorce
You don’t need a business degree to achieve a favorable financial divorce outcome. Rather, it involves doing a little research – and maybe even some detective work. Take these three actions:
Take inventory: Even before talking about divorce with your spouse, make a checklist and have documentation of all assets and debts related to the marriage, including:
- Bank accounts
- Investment holdings
- Retirement plans
- Real estate deeds
- Insurance policies
- Wills and trusts
- Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements
- Business ownership documents
- Credit card statements
- Mortgage and other loan documents
- Lists of marital and nonmarital property
- Personal financial statements and balance sheets
Detailing as much of this information as possible will save time and money during the divorce process.
Organize paperwork: Keeping similar documents together increases efficiency and provides a more accurate picture of your net worth. For instance, keeping all homeownership paperwork together, such as deeds and mortgage information, helps your attorney and other advisors.
Classify assets: Once you have a comprehensive list of all assets and debts, this information will be divided into separate or marital property. Don’t stress over complex items, such as ownership in a business or investment accounts. Your attorney understands how to divide these assets in New York.
Set yourself up for a successful divorce outcome
Yes. Divorce is stressful. However, taking these steps will likely relieve much of the anxiety you feel regarding the process. It will also help you focus on a brighter future by knowing you are beginning your new life in the best financial situation possible.