The following tips can help make your divorce case easier, less stressful, and less expensive:
- Locate, organize and copy all financial records. Make one copy for yourself and a second for your attorney. Save the originals.
- Close all joint bank and brokerage accounts. If that’s not possible, freeze access to the accounts.
- Close all joint credit accounts. Open new accounts in your own name.
- Maintain a written record of all expenses run up during the separation. This also includes joint expenses such as bills paid and home improvements or auto maintenance.
- Establish your net worth. Keep a record of all income during the separation. Save pay stubs, bank and brokerage statements.
- The forced sale of stock or other investments is likely to have tax implications. Consult your financial planner as needed.
- Before the settlement conference, make a list of what you seek right down to household goods.
- If there’s something you know your soon-to-be ex wants in the property settlement, don’t give it away in a hopeless effort to establish goodwill. Use it as a bargaining chip and trade it for something you want.
- Settle out of court. This will cut legal costs and ease your jangled nerves.