Preparation

Journal

An easier, faster and better overall divorce experience is possible if you obtain competent and reliable information. Getting reliable legal and financial advice is extremely important. You must develop a divorce plan and strategy, be informed and educated, and become the manager of your own divorce case.

You must prepare on three difference levels to fulfill the necessary requirements of a successful divorce in New York State. These include mental, emotional and financial preparedness. Prior to beginning your divorce case and before you take any affirmative action, you must prepare yourself. You have to think carefully about your case, your life, and your children. It is important to make a specific and detailed list of everything you desire to accomplish by undertaking the divorce or separation. These need to be in concert consistent with your life goals, values, that which is in the best interest of your children, and your property and overall financial security.

The issues involved in a legal divorce in New York are very specific when it comes to your finances, the equitable distribution of marital assets, custodial arrangements that are in your children's best interests, child support, and maintenance.

1. Put your papers in order

First, you need to put your divorce papers in order. Be sure to keep in a secure place copies of important financial documents. Critical and essential financial papers should include tax returns, insurance policies, bank statements, investment accounts, salaries, and benefit programs.

2. Keep an expense journal

It is important for you to keep and maintain a journal which should include of all your expenses, along with receipts. This is especially needed for any expenses related to your children.

3. Establish credit

It is very helpful if you can establish relationships of personal credit such as department store credit cards, gasoline, and nationally issued credit cards with companies such as AMEX, MasterCard, Visa, etc.

4. Open a bank account in your name

Be sure to open up in your name a new bank account. This should be at a separate bank from the bank in which your spouse conducts business. Begin to save and squirrel away as much financial resources and money as you possibly can. After you separate, you will find that you will require the necessary accessible funds in order to retain a good New York divorce attorney, as well as to afford your daily living expenses in the event that your spouse refuses to pay for your support. If this is the case and financial support is withheld by your spouse, you could be placed under a difficult financial burden until which time the court is able to hear and decide your temporary support application.

5. Keep inheritances separate

It is important to keep any and all gifts and inheritances completely separated from marital assets and the marital estate. Refrain from putting any inheritance into joint accounts with your spouse. Furthermore, don't utilize monies from your inheritance to eradicate debts or for purchases or expenses of the family.

6. Have access to your car

If you have a vehicle, make sure that it is in good working condition. Also see to it that it is titled jointly or, preferably, in your sole name.

7. Don't quit your job

If you are employed, it is very important that you do not quit or leave your job. It is essential to earn enough to maintain assets such as your home, apartment, etc. and generally to secure and maintain you independence financially.

Bills and Calculator 8. Save receipts

It is advisable to save all of the receipts for major purchases while you are still married and living together with your spouse. Be sure to prepare an inventory of all of the property and assets acquired during the marriage. If you have a safe deposit box, keep a current inventory of its content.

9. Keep your documents secure

All of your valuable documents should be stored in a safe place. Find a safe address where you can receive your personal mail. Consider repayment of family loans, if possible, and upgrade your clothes and personal appearance.

10. Prepare your spouse

Consider how you can prepare your spouse and let your spouse get acclimated to the reality of being divorced in the near future.

More on getting started with New York divorce.

For more information on preparing for a divorce or to schedule a consultation to discuss your case further, contact NY divorce lawyer Ingrid Gherman at (212) 941-0767 or fill out the on-line form.