Most married Tennessee couples who have made the decision to end their marriage face a long to-do list that may last until they are granted their final divorce decree. To many, the long and often complicated process of divorce may seem overwhelming, but in any divorce, certain steps are necessary and useful, particularly as a way of preparing before filing for divorce. Here is a guide to what needs to be done before (and during) divorce proceedings.
Getting a grip on the financial situation
Firstly, most divorcing spouses will benefit from hiring a savvy divorce attorney. Next, spouses should determine where they stand financially. Listing all marital assets, including not only financial accounts, vehicles and homes, but also things like artwork and private collections, as well as all money owing can help each divorcing spouse get his or her fair share during settlement negotiations. Also, people who have not had their own credit during the marriage are smart to establish a credit score to ease the process of making major purchases post-divorce.
Protecting financial accounts
Divorcing people are also smart to gather documents needed for proof of income, such as recent pay stubs and the most recent income tax return, prior to beginning the divorce process. As well, spouses should evaluate any joint financial accounts. To protect themselves, some people may consider opening new accounts in their name only and removing half the funds from any joint accounts to deposit in the new accounts. Investment accounts, savings accounts and the like can be frozen if a person suspects his or her spouse may tamper with them. Divorcing individuals should also plan their post-divorce budget, an exercise which will not only help people know the income they will need to support themselves, but will also help them negotiate their divorce settlement to a suitable end.
In Tennessee, and elsewhere, most divorcing couples have a great deal to think about, from the time they consider divorce to the time the divorce is finalized. While this time can be daunting, people who understand the necessary steps to prepare for the divorce financially and otherwise and even how to prepare for their — perhaps significantly altered — post-divorce life will likely fair better once the divorce becomes simply part of their history. Experienced family law attorneys are always available to help people through all steps of the divorce process.