If you are getting ready to file for divorce in Georgia, setting yourself up for financial stability and success should rank high on your list of priorities. A divorce involves some of the most important financial decisions you will go through in your lifetime, and many of these decisions cannot be changed in the future. There will be a laundry list of things you need to do before you can really begin the process. At Dreyer Law, we know that getting your list together can sometimes feel like a full-time job. You juggle dozens of things simultaneously, including making sure you are taking care of yourself, your children, your investments, and your future. At the same time, many people do not want to destroy their partners, but they do want to financially set themselves up for the future. Although it is difficult to table emotions that can sometimes cloud your judgement, divorce is usually best handled like a business transaction, where you divide assets and debt and find parity in the dissolution of the marriage for the benefit of both parties.
If you want to give yourself the best chance to come out the other side with minimal damage and financial stability, you should start by taking the following steps:
Be Confident This Is What You Want to Do
Divorce is traumatic even in the most amicable of situations. You need to be 100% certain that this is what you want, there is no turning back or do-overs. While you can come back from this, it is a mental hardship that will take a long time to get over – and this is just for the two of you. Add in your children, the in-laws, friends, coworkers, and anyone else, and it gets messy. Before you begin dividing assets and financially disentangling from one another, be confident divorce is your best option.
Get Financially Organized
Divorce is complicated, so you will need to have information readily available or attainable because you will need to make hundreds of small, but significant, decisions that will impact both you and your family. You need to be extremely organized when it comes to your finances, including assets and debts. For some families, it is productive to work together with your spouse to ensure that you have a complete list of your debts, assets, property, financial statements, tax returns, bank accounts, credit card accounts, insurance policies, mortgage statements, car loans, retirement accounts, and anything else that seems applicable.
Check Your Credit Score
Credit will be a key factor in setting yourself up for a stable financial future following your divorce, so you must protect it. Moving forward, your credit score will help you rent a new place, obtain a mortgage, get your own credit cards, and more. If you are going to need to apply for these things, you will need to have a good, healthy credit score of your own. If you know your credit is somewhat low, begin trying to repair it as soon as possible. This may also give you insight into assets and liabilities about which you may not have been fully informed by your spouse.
Understand Your Debts
Especially if you were not the breadwinner or the financially savvy half of your marriage, you need to start understanding the debts that the two of you hold. From credit cards, to mortgages, to car loans, to anything you owe the banks, you absolutely need to understand what you need to pay and how to split up that debt fairly. Debt does not just vanish into thin air during a divorce.
Pick Your Battles
To say divorce is not easy would be an understatement. It is a “give and take” battle, and you are going to have to concede some things. So, how do you handle this? It is best to sit down and really think about the things you want to fight for. Maybe it is the business that has been in your family forever or maybe it is that vintage car that is in both of your names. It is best to prioritize the assets you want to fight for, know your finances and what you can afford, and come to grips with the reality that you will have to give some things up.
Know Your Financial Limits
Pushing emotions to the side and being financially smart in your divorce can truly make or break your outcome. Part of determining what to fight for means thinking about what you can realistically afford. If you cannot afford certain living expenses, it probably makes sense to fight for more money instead of possessions. Be smart and assess your situation thoroughly to fight for what benefits you most.
Work with a Lawyer Who Understands Your Situation
Even if you both want out and your divorce seems like it will be completely amicable, you need to work with an experienced divorce attorney who can handle high asset or complex financial circumstances and will have your best interests at heart and fight for the things you want most. Your ex-spouse could turn on a dime and having a knowledgeable divorce lawyer will ensure your rights and assets remain protected.
While you are getting ready to file for divorce in Coweta Georgia, you need to be prepared and ensure that you check every box. Luckily, you do not have to fight this battle alone. At Dreyer Law, our experienced legal team can help you build a strong case that works best for you and your family. Give us a call today to schedule a free consultation.