Maybe you are researching about a potential dissolution of your marriage.
If you do find it necessary to proceed with a divorce, you also know that
there will be some tough days ahead. That's why one of the first things
that anyone with experience will tell you is that preparation is essential.
Rather than be overwhelmed, think about your priorities so that you can
plan your actions rather than react to situations.
I'd like you to consider how you can look after your finances.
I often meet with clients who have only a general idea about their bank
account balance. Though both parties in a divorce must provide financial
disclosures and document their assets and debts, I think one of the smartest
things a client can do is start to gather information about their finances
before they initiate their case. Oftentimes, vital information is simply
laying around the house and nowadays, most necessary documents can be
tracked down online.
Things like recent tax returns, paystubs, and bank account statements can
give you a general feel for your financial health. Trying to get a handle
on what you and your spouse earn at work, how you invest your savings,
and how you pay your monthly bills and expenses will help you think about
how a divorce may realistically affect your finances. Consider taking
a proactive approach with information-gathering: pay attention to the
mail, keep account statements organized, hold on to pay stubs, and start
to think about what you spend vs. what you earn.
More important, having a better handle on your financial affairs will help
your attorney offer you straight-forward and fact-based advice. Arrive
for your consultation with as much recent and relevant information as
you can. This will give your attorney the ability to offer you advice
based on your actual circumstances, calculate potential child support
and spousal support figures, and it will help you contemplate what further
work lies ahead.