For some couples, marriage counseling is not enough to save their marriage. If you’ve made the decision to divorce or are facing divorce proceedings, you are probably wondering what step you should take first to get through this time as quickly and amicably as possible.
Going through a divorce is a tough process emotionally and financially. It becomes hard to think in a practical, financial frame of mind when you’re amid the emotional roller-coaster divorce can be. While no two divorces are the same, there are some things you can do to smooth the financial road before you.
Gather your financial records
You’ll want to collect all your financial records, including tax returns, payroll stubs and bank statements. You should make copies and keep everything in either a safe deposit box or at the home of someone you trust. Having these records can help speed up the property division process in your divorce.
Inventory of assets
You should begin collecting records of your assets as you are gathering your financial records. You should carefully record whether the assets are your own property or the property of the marriage. This distinction is important because Indiana courts will presume the fairness of an equal division of property unless one of the parties presents evidence showing otherwise. Keep track of your valuables, too, as it is not uncommon for things to go missing once the process starts.
Seek financial advice
If your spouse is the breadwinner in your household, you’ll want to build the skills you need before going at it alone. Even if you are the one crunching numbers, many don’t expect the financial complexities of divorce.
You should also prepare to sacrifice and work together. Perhaps the most important way to protect your finances during a divorce is to remain amicable with each other. There’s a good chance you won’t come out of this with everything you hoped to keep, so you’ll want to prioritize what’s most important to you. While you won’t be necessarily starting from scratch, you are beginning a new chapter in your life.