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Preparing for divorce includes gathering basic information

For some, making the decision to file for divorce can be difficult. For others, the decision may seem obvious. But, what to do next may be elusive for people in either group. Most adults in California can easily grasp what happens in a divorce—that is not really an issue. But each divorce, although handled through a general framework in family court, may have its own unique issues.

A parent who is seeking divorce may be concerned about child custody, visitation and support issues. But, what about insurance issues going forward after the marriage is ended?

Some commentators say that a good first step in heading forward after deciding to file for divorce is to begin to collect the documents and information that can assist in unraveling financial issues in the divorce.

California law provides a framework for property division, but knowing what assets exist is an important first step. Collecting any mortgage information, amassing documents related to insurance policies and retirement plans can help to define what assets may be a part of the community property of the marriage.

Other important documents are tax returns, any potential investment accounts or trusts and any legal documents like a power of attorney or prenuptial agreement.

It is also important to look at debts. Credit card accounts, personal loans, and where applicable, even business loan information can be beneficial in preparing for divorce.

With the financial documents amassed, a person may be better able to assess the whole picture. Legal counsel can go through the documentation in evaluating the big picture as well. With this information amassed, a person may be able to not only assess what would be equitable in dividing property, but also an assessment of a person’s rights may be better understood.

Similarly, with the documentation on hand, a person may be able to determine how finances will be handled during and after the divorce.

We mentioned parents who may be filing for divorce. Knowing the financials is important for parents. Looking forward to ensure health care for the kids and other financial issues are understood may be important for any parent.

Source: Huffington Post, “We're Getting A Divorce, Now What?,” Linda Descano, July 29, 2013

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