Divorce planning is essential for a smooth transition
Divorce is a huge step and certainly not something to be taken lightly, especially considering the emotional and financial ramifications it has on a family. That’s why divorce planning is so important. As mediators, we can help you understand your options and lay the groundwork for an amicable divorce with a solid plan of action—a divorce plan. We know that this is a difficult time in your life, and we can help you figure out where to begin. While we will walk you through the whole process, it can be helpful to have an overview of what it will look like.
You’ll start with reviewing your family’s financial documents
Before our first appointment, compile as much information as possible on your family’s finances. We suggest you begin by making a list of your joint assets, debts, and sources of income. Make copies of everything finance-related, including the last three years of tax returns, retirement/benefit information, and insurance documents. Additionally, start tracking and understanding your family expenses. It is important, however, that you do not try to hide money as everything will need to be disclosed during this divorce process. Hiding money gives rise to dishonesty and fraud and will be discovered in the divorce.
You will establish a budget to put aside funds for the divorce
One of the most often overlooked aspects of divorce is budgeting for the divorce itself. No matter what route you take, paying for a divorce is expensive. While mediation is much more affordable when compared to litigation, there will still be many costs associated with the divorce. And going from one household to two will raise costs across the board. We will help you create a balanced budget and set aside money for the divorce itself to ease the transition.
You will need to understand your credit
If the only credit card you have is shared with your spouse, it may be beneficial to you to open one in your name alone to begin building credit. We can help discuss the proper timing to do this. You will also want to obtain credit reports for you and your spouse so that you have an overview of your credit cards and debt. We can help you review your credit history so that you can understand the impact your divorce will have on your credit.
You will consider options for the family home
While there is often a strong desire to keep the family home, it can be an expensive asset to maintain and may not be the best option for everyone. All expenses need to be taken into consideration. If you decide to proceed with mediation, we can help you and your spouse discuss in detail the costs involved in keeping the home and determine what housing makes the most sense for everyone involved. Starting to think about it during the planning process and discussing your options with us beforehand will help you when that time comes. We can also refer you to real estate professionals who understand the financial considerations of divorce and will be able to communicate with you and your spouse regarding the sale of your home and the purchasing of any subsequent properties.
When your divorce plan is ready, we can discuss your options including mediation
Litigation is not the only option for divorce resolution and is not the best choice for many people. Our mediation services are provided at a flat rate so that it is easier to plan for when budgeting. Litigation is expensive and billed hourly, leading to ballooning costs if issues arise that require your attorney to put in more time. Mediation also provides you and your spouse with much more control over your involvement in the divorce process, whereas litigation generally requires all communication be done through attorneys. Speaking with our mediators is the best way to help you decide if mediation is the best option for you.
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