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New Year’s Divorce Checklist

Preparing for the Changes to Come

Many people use the start of a new year as an opportunity to make changes in their lives, including getting divorced. If you are considering getting divorced in the new year, there are some things you need to do in advance to make the process go as smoothly as possible. In this blog, learn what you need to prepare for your New Year's divorce.

Accurate Asset Disclosures

In any divorce, but especially a high-asset divorce, accurate asset disclosures are critical. All too often, people try to hide assets in the hopes of keeping them out of the property division equation. This is a huge mistake. Not only will your spouse likely find out about the hidden assets, but you could also be subject to criminal charges for fraud or perjury.

To avoid problems down the road, it's best to be upfront and honest about all of your assets from the start. This way, there can be no question about what's fair game in the property division process. If you need help ensuring accuracy, it may be best to work with an accountant or other qualified financial professional.

Other Important Paperwork

In addition to asset disclosures, there are a number of other important pieces of paperwork that need to be taken care of in advance of a New Year's divorce. These include:

  • A divorce complaint or petition

  • A financial affidavit

  • Child custody paperwork (if applicable)

  • A parenting plan (if applicable)

  • A property settlement agreement

Each of these documents serves a specific purpose and must be completed correctly in order to move forward with the divorce process. If you're unsure how to correctly fill out any required paperwork, it's best to consult with an attorney. They can help ensure that everything is in order and guide you through the next steps.

Personal Information

There are also documents that detail important personal information you will want to prepare before filing for divorce. This includes:

  • Your full name and address

  • Your spouse's full name and address

  • Information about your children (if applicable)

  • A list of all joint assets and debts

  • A proposed division of assets and debts

  • Your marriage certificate

  • Documents detailing bank accounts and other financial information

Again, if you're unsure about filling out any of these documents, it's best to consult with an attorney. They can help ensure that everything is in order and guide you through the next steps.

A Support Circle

One of the most important things you can do in advance of a New Year's divorce is to build a support circle. This can include friends, family members, therapists, or anyone else who can offer emotional support during what is sure to be a difficult time. These people will be invaluable as you navigate the divorce process and begin rebuilding your life.

If you don't have a support circle in place, now is the time to start building one. If you're not sure where to start in building your own personal support circle, there are plenty of resources available online or through local support groups.

Attorney Consultation

Finally, one of the most critical things you can do to prepare for a New Year's divorce is to discuss your plans with an experienced family law attorney. They can answer any questions, help you understand the divorce process, and protect your rights. If you need help figuring out where to start, ask for recommendations from friends or family members who have been through a divorce. You can also look for qualified attorneys in your area online.

No one wants to start the new year off with a divorce. But if you find yourself in this situation, it's important to be prepared. By following this New Year's divorce checklist, you can ensure that everything is taken care of and avoid any stressful surprises down the road.

Need help with your divorce? The team at Verner Brumley Mueller Parker can assist you with every step of the process, from asset division to child custody. Contact us today by calling (214) 225-6766 or by visiting our website.