What should you do to prepare for divorce?

To get through a divorce more easily, it's important to get copies of your records. You may have a better chance of making copies and collecting these records if you get them before you state that you want to file for divorce. Sometimes, spouses who are angry may change passwords or card information, making it hard to get access to the things you need for the divorce. You should get copies of credit card statements, annuities, retirement accounts, business accounts and other financial items that impact your divorce.

Another thing to get a copy of is a credit application. The credit application has important information like your income and the income your spouse brings in, your shared assets and your shared liabilities. This is a good source of information when you need to show the courts your marital property. It could even reveal property that you didn't know your spouse had purchased.

When you begin the divorce process, it's important to separate joint lines of credit. If you don't separate your credit accounts, then any debts your spouse creates, even after the divorce, could be liabilities to you.

Finally, remember that it's important to go back and review your beneficiary information. This can help you change life insurance policy beneficiaries and other documentation while you're still married, so it doesn't come back to haunt you later.

Your attorney can help you work through your assets, so you know what you want to negotiate for and what you're willing to let go. With the right help, you can get through your divorce.

Source: Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts, "Articles," accessed April 07, 2017

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