Step Two in Well-Meaning Advice
Once you’ve decided on the process of divorce, think inventory first. In my office, we have a process written on the wall as a reminder for all divorce families.
- We do not negotiate first.
- We do not buy a new house first.
- We do not re-finance the home first.
- We do not reach any agreements first.
- We inventory first.
Full, comprehensive, organized, meticulous inventory
This is where you can save considerable money, aggravation and "failed" expectations in the process. Ask each professional what is needed prior to the initial appointment.
- Can you complete any intake forms to save time?
- How much data do you need?
- Is 12 months enough?
- Do you need more than 12 months of data? Why?
Make copies and procure documentation
Make copies and do whatever you can to procure the documentation needed for each professional. Most situations require that you complete a comprehensive budget. Look at past expenses and do an annual average.
As a very generic summary think in the following order:
- Incomes (social security statements and tax returns,
- Expenses (average a full year),
- Assets (all statements from all financial institutions),
- Liabilities (run and exchange full credit reports for both you and your spouse from same credit agency) and insurance (life, home, car, medical and dental).