There's a reason why January is one of the biggest divorce months of
the year. The holidays are finally over and unhappy married couples want
to start off the New Year with a clean slate, or they want to wipe their
slate clean for 2016.
If you've been waiting for the holidays to be over to file for divorce,
now is the time to get all of your ducks in a row to begin the filing
process. Here are a few tips to help you get your
1. Run your credit report.
If possible, run both of your credit reports. At the least, we recommend pulling
your credit report twice during the divorce process. Once at the beginning,
and once at the end. That way you know exactly how many accounts you have
and whose name they are in.
2. Gather all of the necessary documents.
Even if you haven't told your spouse yet, start gathering and making
copies of all of the financial documents now, including: bank accounts,
taxes, mortgages, auto loans, credit cards, investments, etc. Otherwise,
it can be a lot harder to get ahold of them later.
3. Find a new financial advisor.
It's wise to use someone different than the financial advisor you
used during your marriage. Better yet, find someone who has not been used
by either of your families; someone who is completely unbiased.
4. Consult with a divorce attorney.
Before you drop the "D" bomb, it's a good idea to consult
with an experienced divorce attorney who can advise you of your rights.
5. Get those sentimental items now.
Family photos, birth videos, wedding rings, family heirlooms, etc. –
they can all mysteriously disappear during the divorce process. To prevent
this from happening, have those items stored at a friend or relative's house.
6. Talk to a CPA.
During the divorce process, it's important that you fully understand
the tax consequences of your divorce settlement. That said, get the advice
of a tax professional before you sign on the dotted line.
7. Think twice before packing your bags.
Got kids? You may want to think hard, very hard before you pack your bags
and get your own place and leave the kids behind. If you wish to have
custody of the children, your chances are greater if you don't move
out, leaving them with your soon-to-be ex.
8. Get a P.O. Box.
Spouses have a tendency to open each other's mail – and you
don't want your spouse reading your mail once you've filed for
divorce, especially letters from your attorney. Get a P.O. Box and have
all of your mail routed there.
We're only scratching the surface on what you should do to prepare
for divorce. To learn more,
contact our office to speak with a Los Angeles divorce attorney for free.