Divorce can be an expensive proposition. Not only is it expensive in terms of money, it can also be expensive in terms of time and emotional energy. In this week’s blog we will focus in on the financial steps to consider before divorce. When you take these steps at the outset of a divorce, the entire process can be made easier and far less draining. Read on to learn more.
Avoid potential stress with these financial steps before divorce!
Step One: Obtain Any Relevant Financial Documents
The first of the financial steps before divorce is to obtain any and all relevant financial documents. What documents should you include? Start with tax returns, and then also collect documents for checkings, savings, and bank statements; investment statements; retirement account statements; and any other documents that can verify income for both you and your spouse. For best relevancy consideration, gather up the documents that account for the past three to five years. Any potential real estate you might own is also relevant, so gather documents accounting for that as well. You will need to gather documents for your real estate that cover when you first bought the property, up until the present.
Step Two: List Your Assets and Debts
Listing and inventorying your assets and debts is the next financial step before divorce. When marital property and debts must be distributed during the actual divorce process, having an existing list will make the process much easier. Any separate property should be considered as well. Incomes received from separate properties is separate property under Virginia law; however this is only the case when the income cannot be properly attributed to the personal efforts of either you or your spouse.
Step Three: Assemble Your Credit Reports and Credit Card Statements
You can use one of the major credit reporting bureaus to monitor your credit reports. But if you do not, strongly consider acquiring one before you proceed. Whatever financial liabilities you may have, your credit report will reveal them. Having credit reports sorted out will make the process of moving out into a new home or buying a new home altogether much easier as well. It will also help keep your credit in good health.
Step Four: Change Your Relevant Estate Planning Documents
Inheritances, medical decisions, and other powers delegated in estate planning must be addressed as well. Wills, living wills, and powers of attorney should be reevaluated. During this part of the process, you may either have to draft entirely new estate planning documents, or have existing ones updated to reflect the change in your marital status.
Get Representation from The Carlberg Law Firm Today
Ready to tackle your legal issues head on? The Carlberg Law Firm provides all the experience and knowledge of a larger firm with the personal attention and commitment of a smaller firm. We represent individuals from both the District of Columbia and Virginia, and our attorneys have extensive experience in all aspects of family law.
Our offices are located in a beautiful 1875 historic building in Old Town Alexandria at 413 North Washington Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314. Please contact us to set up an appointment at (703) 549 5551 or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.