Divorce can be an extremely emotional process for most couples, especially when a relationship becomes contentious. However, keeping a clear head on your shoulders is vital to getting the best financial outcome possible.
Dividing marital assets can be a complicated task as Georgia’s equitable distribution statute requires the property to be distributed fairly, but that doesn’t necessarily mean an equal split. That’s one of the reasons why it’s essential to be organized even before you talk to an attorney.
Three steps to prepare for divorce
Even before discussing divorce with a spouse, take these actions:
Complete a financial inventory: Have a comprehensive understanding of your financial situation as well as the documentation to back it up. Get detailed information such as:
- Bank and investment accounts
- List marital and non-marital assets for both spouses
- Personal financial statements
- Real estate deeds and mortgage or other loan documents
- Credit card statements
- Copies of wills and trusts
- Insurance policies
Organize your documents: Taking the time to arrange this information logically by category can help save time and money on attorney fees. Group types of materials together, such as all homeownership info, including mortgage paperwork, deeds and purchase documents.
Classify your assets: Once you have located and arranged all your documents, you can further streamline the process by separating them as non-marital or marital assets. If you’re unsure, an experienced family law attorney can help you determine property for which you are entitled to receive a share.
Take a businesslike approach to divorce
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the emotional toll divorce can take on an entire family. However, taking the time to position yourself for the best possible financial outcome can not only help lead to a brighter future, but relieve some of the stress that typically occurs during the process.