Tips to Prepare for Divorce
Divorce is complex, intense, and it can feel like it is taking hold of your life. Most people will go through a divorce at most once or twice in their lives. If you are facing the prospect of divorce and you are feeling anxious, apprehensive, or anything else, you are far from alone. Read on for a few general tips to help you prepare for your divorce. Call an experienced Englewood divorce lawyer for help with a New Jersey divorce or other family law matter.
Gather a Professional Team
Divorce will touch upon nearly every aspect of your life, and it is vital to have the right legal and financial team on your side to make sure you get through the process well-prepared and minimally scathed. Hire a seasoned divorce attorney with proper qualifications and experience. Make sure you have a tax advisor, an accountant, and any other financial professional ready to help prepare for the divorce and your new financial reality afterward. If your divorce touches on other issues such as immigration, make sure you have someone on your team with expert knowledge of those issues as well. Having the right team on your side is the best way to be prepared throughout the process and beyond.
Gather a Personal Health Team
We have plenty to say about the economic and legal consequences of divorce and how to prepare for them. It’s also extremely important, however, to take care of yourself during the process. Divorce is difficult at the best of times, and if a divorce is bitter or follows a long marriage, it can be jarring, complex, and disruptive. Make sure you have the right support to see yourself through.
Keep your family and your friends close and, to the extent you are comfortable, confide in them and rely upon them. It can be easy to feel alone during and after a divorce. Your friends and family are willing to be there for you, so use them. If you can afford it, get a therapist. There are therapists who specialize in divorce as well as related aspects of divorce including loss, grief, anger, life management, and other issues. Group counseling can also be effective. Make sure to stay physically active and to eat right. Taking care of your mental health is extremely important during the divorce process.
Get Educated About the Process
We fear most the unknown and the unexpected. The more you know about the divorce process, the less anxiety you are likely to feel. Read up on what to expect, including evidence-gathering, the discovery process, financial disclosures, depositions, retaining experts, arguing court motions and other procedures, custody disputes, mediation and arbitration, and everything else you are likely to face. When divorce becomes a known quantity, you can focus on the tasks necessary to see it through and get what you want out of the process.
Gather All Personal Information and Financial Documents
Once you know you are divorcing, it is time to start gathering all relevant documents. You will eventually need a full and complete picture of your own finances as well as those of your spouse. Gather bank statements, loan statements, medical bills, mortgage statements, investment account statements, retirement account statements, tax returns, etc. Keep copies of new statements sent through the mail (and keep an eye out for statements that stop turning up, which may be an indicator that your spouse is trying to hide assets). If you do not have access to certain documents, request access. Your attorney can help you figure out how.
Start Building a Separate Financial Life
Divorce means that you will become a separate financial entity from your spouse. As soon as you know you are divorcing, you should start this process. Get your own bank account, your own credit card, and your own savings. Don’t hide these assets from disclosure, but do start building your own financial identity. You need your own credit, your own savings, and your own retirement plan.
You will likely need to obtain your own health insurance, life insurance, and other legal items. You’ll likely need to revise your will or trust to remove your spouse, and change legal designations like your power of attorney and healthcare proxies. Your attorney and your financial planners can help you identify all necessary steps regarding how to accomplish them in the most streamlined and painless fashion.
Trusted Advice and Representation for Your New Jersey Divorce
If you’re considering divorce in New Jersey or dealing with child support, child custody, property division, or other family law issues, contact the Englewood family law attorneys Herbert & Weiss at 201-440-6300.