Divorce Attorney

How to Prepare Financially for a Divorce

Coins with a paper saying divorceAlthough the dissolution of a marriage is typically fraught with emotions, it’s in your best interests to try to compartmentalize your concerns. As you work through your emotional issues with a counselor, work through your practical concerns with a divorce attorney. A divorce attorney in Tampa can help you learn how to prepare financially for the divorce and how to protect your interests.

Gather Financial Documents

Your divorce attorney will need lots of financial documents to arrange for a fair division of property. Additionally, you’ll be required to disclose certain financial information on an affidavit. You can expect to need tax returns for the last three years, three months of your most recent pay stubs, and the prior year’s W-2, 1099, and K-1 forms. Your lawyer will also need access to your bank account statements, life insurance policy, retirement account statements, and documents pertaining to any debts you and your spouse have.

Check Your Credit Reports

Divorce attorneys strongly recommend that their clients check their credit reports before the trial. Review your credit reports for any accounts your spouse may have opened without informing you or any payments that he or she may have missed.

Evaluate Childcare Costs

If you and your spouse have children, child support will be a factor in the court order. Calculate their basic expenses, such as food, housing, and clothing. Other discretionary expenses, such as extracurricular activities, are often not taken into account.

Appraise Collections

Does your spouse have a baseball card, vintage bottle, or other type of collection that might be valuable? Consider hiring a professional appraiser to estimate the value of the collection. You’ll also need to have the value of your home and cars assessed.

Close Joint Accounts

Talk to your divorce attorney about when you should begin closing accounts held jointly with your spouse. If the two of you have a shared credit card, for example, you could be held liable for any debts your spouse accrues while the divorce is pending.

Common Divorce Causes

Vacation home on the waterWhen you first married, it may have seemed inconceivable that you would ever seek advice from a divorce attorney. Unfortunately, it’s all too common for couples to grow apart over the years. Divorce attorneys often work with clients who have decided to file for divorce because of money issues. Spouses frequently have different money styles – one may be a spender while the other is a saver, for example. Over time, you and your spouse may have developed different financial goals. You may wish to focus on saving for retirement, while your spouse may be interested in buying a vacation home, for instance. Money disagreements such as these often form the basis for divorce.

Another reason you might look for a divorce lawyer serving Tampa Bay is if your spouse has been unfaithful. For many people, the emotional pain of infidelity is simply too damaging to try to repair the marriage. For other people, there is no one specific reason why they choose to consult a divorce lawyer. They may have simply drifted apart over the years. Breakdown in communication, lack of honesty, and the loss of mutual respect are all common reasons for divorce.