I am Thinking of Getting a Divorce. Where Should I Start?
Dick Harsin, CDFA®
July 18, 2017
You should begin by surrounding yourself with the professionals who can guide you through the divorce process.
At a minimum, you will need a family law attorney practicing in your area, and a Certified Financial Planner™ and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA®). Most divorce lawyers and CDFAs® will offer a reduced or flat rate for an initial consultation to better understand your situation and begin to recommend the next steps. Your divorce attorney will be able to advise you as to whether you live in a fault or no-fault divorce state.
Before meeting with your family law attorney or and CDFA®, it is highly recommended that you gather information regarding your income, expenses, and your assets and liabilities.
Regardless of where you live, before meeting with your family law attorney and CDFA®, it is highly recommended that you gather information regarding your income, expenses, and your assets and liabilities. You will need to bring to the initial meeting copies of tax returns from your last three years and documents concerning any debts and significant purchases you have made.
This might include your car, your home, and other real estate properties you may own. Also, you will want to bring your bank statements, vehicle ownership and leasing documents. Regarding your home or real estate property, bring information that will state the purchase price, when it was bought, who paid for the down payment and paperwork related to the mortgage.
“It would be wise to detail your income and expenses for the divorce lawyer and the CDFA®.”
It would be wise to detail your income and expenses for the divorce lawyer and the CDFA®. You should include any income that you earn from working, interest or dividend income, and income from any other sources. This might include unemployment insurance benefits, Social Security, pension, and spousal or child support paid to you from a prior relationship.
Your expenses should include items such as your housing expense, utilities, entertainment expenses, auto expenses, insurance expenses, medical expenses that are not reimbursed by your insurance carrier, and your childcare expenses.
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As Certified Divorce Financial Analysts (CDFA®), we provide the most peaceful and respectful divorce process that we can, affording a couple an agreeable parting with minimal costs and the assurance of a financial plan to carry them into a new chapter in life.
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Dick Harsin is NOT AN ATTORNEY AND DOES NOT PROVIDE LEGAL ADVICE. All information he provides is financial in nature and should not be construed or relied upon as legal or tax advice. Individuals seeking legal or tax advice should solicit the counsel of competent legal or tax professionals knowledgeable about the divorce laws in their own geographical areas.
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