Sadly, there is a difference between the time frame of a marriage and “till death do us part.” A divorce is indeed a life-changing event that is rife with both circumstances and ramifications for a couple. If you know that it is imminent, meaning that your partner has already filed or plans to do so, it is crucial to know how to do to navigate through the proceedings. It is all about damage control.
NOLO, a renowned publisher of self-help legal advice, offers a checklist to minimize the fallout of a pending divorce in an article by Rick Sims. Half of the 10-point list is presented summarily.
Consult an attorney
Commonsense and the law do not always go hand-in-hand. What may make sense to do at first glance might not always tidily with a state’s law. Make sure you are doing the right things legally.
From utility bills to state and federal income tax returns, make copies of every document pertinent to financial information as possible. Bank statements, insurance policies, mortgage-related paperwork, vehicle-title paperwork, etc are good examples. Rule of thumb: more is better than less.
Document household items and family possessions
When splitting up the property, having a handle on all marital assets is significant. Artwork, appliances, automobiles, furniture, and jewelry are examples of major marital assets.
Make a detailed list of your household budget and expenses
Offer as much detail as possible by including bank statements and copies of all monthly expenses, such as mortgage payments, utility bills, and any other household-related expense.
Determine how to manage the family debt
Separating marital debt from non-marital debt is among the most difficult matters to negotiate in the entire process. Any debt incurred by either spouse prior to the couple marrying is defined as non-marital debt. That debt is the responsibility of the spouse that incurred it.