- Start gathering documents. Your attorney will need to know as much as possible about the state of your financial affairs. Make a copy of every financial statement you can find. Some important forms you should search for include recent pay stubs, account statements, retirement account forms, tax returns, and credit card statements. That is, by no means, an exhaustive list. If there is an important piece of your financial puzzle missing, Branch Family Law will find it during the discovery phase of your divorce.
- Start keeping close tabs on your expenses and income. Pay attention to the expenses covering essential costs (food, shelter, and gas). Try to put down as many details as you are able, including which one of you pays specific expenses.
- Don’t pay down any debt. Yes, we do not recommend making any attempts to satisfy any outstanding debts. Many spouses act “responsibly” and pay down some of their spouses’ debts while they are married. While noble, there is a chance that your ex will be saddled with a particular debt if you can show it is separate property. On the other hand, don’t expect to recoup your losses through alimony, child support, or property division if you pay down any debts while you’re married.
- Open your own bank accounts and line of credit. Your journey to financial independence starts when you make the decision to divorce your spouse. This is the time to be frugal; any money you save now will come in handy for the hidden costs of divorce. If your spouse has wrecked your credit or you simply can’t access your credit score, get a credit card and make a few (small) purchases with it each month so you can build up that important number.
Trust Branch Family Law with Your Split
The most obvious cost of any divorce is the attorney’s fees. The cost of your divorce depends on numerous factors, and you will be tempted to price-shop law firms so you can realize short-term financial savings. This can be catastrophic in the long run, though; it’s been said, more than once, that a cheap lawyer is one of the most expensive mistakes one can ever make.
Our firm believes that legal counsel should listen to each client, understand their goals and fears, and educate them on the best path forward. We treat each client with respect and handle each legal matter with efficiency and sensitivity. How can we help you today? Call us at 210-761-6390 to find out; we are currently offering free 30-minute consultations to prospective clients.