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Preparing for Divorce


As the new year approaches, people tend to think about goals they can accomplish to improve their lives. This may or may not be surprising to you, but many people opt for divorce. Their marriages have been in bad shape for so long that they have finally decided to just be done with it.

That’s because divorce is a huge ordeal. It’s not something you can just do randomly, in the heat of the moment, and expect good results. Divorce is the long process of undoing a marriage, and it takes a lot of time and preparation, especially if it is a long-term marriage. There’s a lot of financial, legal, and emotional work involved.

With the right preparation, though, you can make the process of divorce less overwhelming. Here’s what you can do to plan.

Hire a Lawyer

Many people think they can divorce on their own, and while that may be the case for simple divorces with no assets, you’re almost always better off getting a lawyer. Yes, a lawyer can be expensive, but not knowing the laws and ending up with less than you deserve is also a costly  lesson. Get someone who will work to resolve your divorce without litigation.

Gather Financial Documentation

Your lawyer will need an idea of how your finances look. What assets do you have? Make sure to include all marital and nonmarital assets, including real estate, retirement plans, inheritances, and even artwork and furniture.

What debts do you owe? Are there personal loans, credit card bills, and mortgages? Make sure to gather all documentation showing this information. Assets and debts are split equitably in Florida, and while this may mean a 50/50 split, it could be some other percentage, depending on each spouse’s contributions to the marriage.

You will also need proof of income. While most people can easily get this information from pay stubs, this can be more difficult for those who are self-employed. Tax returns, bank statements, and other documentation can help show business revenues.

Get a Budget Together

Things will change after divorce. You will no longer have access to your spouse’s income, so get a spreadsheet going that shows income and expenses. Ideally, your income will be more than expenses. If not, it’s time to start trimming the fat. After a divorce, you may have to live like a pauper for a while until you can earn more income and get a better idea of your finances. Getting a credit card may be helpful for larger expenses, but be sure to pay it off every month to avoid falling into the trap of debt.

Seek Legal Help

Divorce is not something that will happen in a day or two. It’s something that requires preparation, time, money, and patience.

A Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer from Edward J. Jennings, P.A. can help you prepare for divorce as well as guide you through all the stages. We will protect your legal rights every step of the way. To schedule a consultation, fill out the online form or call 954-764-4330.



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