Preparing for Divorce After the Holidays
As the holidays are beginning to wind down, we are all quickly getting back to reality and into the groove of the new year. If you have been waiting for the holidays to pass before starting the process of divorce, you are certainly not alone. It is not uncommon to wait until after the holidays to begin the separation process. Some may delay because of children, anxiety, denial, or just simply wanting one last holiday season to be “normal.” Whatever the reason, it is important to begin the preparation process as the new year gets into full swing.
Organizing your financial information
This may seem obvious but can be the most time consuming in all of your preparation. As your financials have grown more complex over the years, it can be overwhelming trying to organize and locate all of this information. Try breaking it down into these simple categories:
- Checking and Savings accounts
- Debt/ Liabilities
- Income and Tax Returns
- Investments and Other Assets
These categories will go further in depth, but this should help you get started on this part of the process.
Preparing to tell your children
If you have children, telling them about your separation can be emotionally devasting on both ends. Although it is important to be honest and let them know what is going on, it is also vital to make sure you are relaying this to them with the emotional support that they need. Be prepared for them to ask questions and make sure they are reassured that it is not their fault. Consider providing them with professional therapy as an outlet for coping with this. As hard as the separation process may be for you, a divorce can take a great toll on a child’s mental wellbeing. Consider telling your child with your spouse, and remember that the sooner you begin establishing a plan for co-parenting, the better off it will be for your children.
Start doing your research on the professionals you will need to hire to go through this process. There are many divorce services attorneys do not offer that you may contemplate adding to your toolkit. For your emotional stability, consider looking into seeing a divorce coach. They can help direct you through the separation and provide clarity during a time that may seem very foggy due to stress. The last thing you want is to make decisions that will affect the rest of your life based on the strong emotions you are feeling in the moment.
Attorneys are your legal advocates and you should always get legal advice. They may assist you as the lead/ quarterback provider if you take the traditional litigation or the mediation route with your divorce. Although knowing your legal rights is important, keep in mind that there are other non-traditional routes for divorce that may be benefitable to the health of your family. Immediately hiring an attorney could make your spouse feel threatened and feel like they should hire an attorney too. Depending on your situation, trying to go a more amicable route might be best for your family; in the process it may save you money too in the long run.
Also, consider if your current CPA will be qualified for what you will need during divorce. Can they have communication or provide information to both parties during the divorce? If you have a feeling your spouse has been hiding assets from you, it may be wise to hire a forensic CPA to do some background research on the matter.
The financial decisions you make now, will have an impact on the rest of your life. Consider the benefits of meeting with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM or Certified Divorce Financial Analyst ® who have special training and experience assisting clients through the financial-side of divorce. The Financial Knot provides financial solutions that deliver an understanding of where you are and how to best move forward in your divorce. We offer divorce financial planning services to represent you and your spouse as a neutral, or to you as an advocate. To find out how our services can best serve you, give us a call today (803)403-1308. Divorce is largely about finances! Why not hire a financial professional who knows divorce?