Going through a breakup often evokes emotions of sadness, anger, and maybe even guilt. However, when a married couple goes through a breakup and pursues divorce, the legal process can add additional stress on the parties, causing them to feel frustrated, anxious, and confused.
Here, this latter trio of emotions often stems from a person being uncertain as to what exactly needs to be done in the aftermath of a breakup in order to get the divorce process started and ensure the protection of their best interests going forward.
While the most obvious solution is to make an appointment to see a qualified legal professional who can answer questions, explain the law, and outline options going forward, experts indicate that there are a few steps soon-to-be divorced spouses can take even earlier in the process to achieve some peace of mind.
For example, many suggest performing a sort of preliminary financial assessment such that the spouse can get a clearer picture of their finances, something that will serve them well in the months ahead and perhaps even give them some insight as to whether they are willing to consider alternatives to traditional divorce.
What exactly would this preliminary financial assessment necessitate?
1. Gather mortgage statements, credit card statements, bank account statements, retirement account statements, loan documentation, and any other relevant financial documents in your name, your spouse’s name and both of your names.
2. Arrange the financial documentation in such a way that it sets forth a readily comprehensible narrative of your expenses over the last year and your anticipated expenses for the coming year.
3. Identify those expenses you believe will remain your responsibility post-divorce, as well as any you envision arising over the next two years.
4. Revisit the information over the next week, supplementing the documentation as you see necessary.
Indeed, this type of exercise not only fosters a much-needed sense of control for a spouse during tumultuous times, but also provides a legal professional with invaluable information, such that they can start developing a legal strategy sooner than later.