You have decided you are going to divorce. The only problem is, you have not told your spouse yet because you are afraid of how they might react.
If you fear your spouse will react badly to the news, you might want to start some financial preparation in secret. If you wait until after you tell them to start gathering it, they might try to withhold or hide information from you. While you can seek a court order to access missing information, it will be simpler if you collect as much as possible beforehand.
You must know what you own to secure a fair settlement
When you divide property, you need to understand the extent of your joint assets and debts. If you wish to seek post-marital payments from your spouse, understanding more about their personal wealth and income will be crucial. So will having a clear idea about yours. If you wish to convince a judge that you need a certain amount, you will need to show why.
Here are some of the things that you need to gather up to date details and figures for:
- Bank accounts
- Credit cards
- Outstanding loans
- Your mortgage
- Health insurance
- Life insurance
- Retirement plan
- Any investments
- Tax returns
- Pay stubs for you and your spouse
- Information on any bonuses that your spouse gets
- Details and dates of any inheritances
You also need to work out a budget, showing how much you will need to live once you separate. Take time when working on this to ensure that you account for all your expenses. You don’t want to leave yourself short. Once you have a complete picture of your financial situation, you can negotiate the settlement that you’re seeking in your divorce.