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Helpful tips in planning for divorce

As 2013 draws near, many people in troubled marriages are contemplating substantial changes to their lives. They may be unsure of what to expect and may not be certain of what to do before filing their petition. For those contemplating divorce, we offer the following tips and information.

Where to live - This is the first step in your life change. Consider whether you can afford to start anew on your own, or whether your relationship will allow you to live with your soon-to-be ex before the divorce is finalized. This is an important consideration for couples who have homes that are underwater or subject to foreclosure.

Gather documents - This is necessary so that you have an accurate accounting of all marital assets to be divided. You may not know what is part of your marital estate, and you may find hidden assets that you would be entitled to.

Establish separate accounts - It would be prudent to establish separate accounts. This would include checking accounts, retirement accounts and insurance policies.

Consider how to inform the children - Kids have an amazing sense of what is going on, even if you don't think they will know (or understand). Nevertheless, having an honest conversation with them will be helpful in their transition as well.

Avoid new romances - New relationships during divorce only complicate things. They may aggravate raw feelings and cloud your judgment during the process. Also, children are likely to be confused about how their family is changing right before their eyes.

Consult an attorney - You may be a good candidate for collaborative divorce, or litigation may be necessary. Asking basic questions can help you gain the information you need for the proper approach.

Source: Divorce360.com, Beginning Checklist: Planning to file for Divorce

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