Divorce is an emotional and legal uncoupling of your life from your spouse. You will encounter multiple logistical concerns, such as where you will live and how to split the expenses you once shared. While it is often difficult to consider things like this when all you want is for the divorce to be final, it is important to take it one step at a time. This will help you avoid mistakes that may cost you in the long run.
At Sangiovanni Marchetti Law, our legal team is ready to help you with each step of the divorce process in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Here you can find five things to do before you file for divorce in Neptune to help make the process as smooth and hassle-free as possible.
1. Take Inventory of Your Marital and Separate Assets
When filing for divorce, a good place to begin is to take inventory of all your marital and separate assets. This may not be necessary, if you have an iron-clad post or prenuptial agreement. If you do not have this, asset distribution will likely be a significant part of your divorce.
All types of assets must be considered. This includes real estate, financial assets, business interests, and personal property. Ensure you pay attention to everything that may arise or become an issue.
As you look at your assets, you should consider which ones are marital property and which ones are separate property. A general rule to remember is that any asset you purchased or acquired during your marriage is a marital asset. Also, anything you owned before getting married is a separate asset.
This is an essential part of preparing for divorce. Marital assets are subject to equitable division, while separate assets do not go through this process.
2. Review Your Family and Personal Finances
According to New Jersey statutes, the state uses equitable distribution. This means you and your spouse will divide all marital assets, property, and debts fairly. It is important to note that “equitable” and “equal” are different. Each person’s financial situation will be considered when the court decides on asset distribution.
This tip goes along with the first one. You need to know what money and assets you have. If you have been hands-off with your financial situation during your marriage, now is the time to collect as much information as you can. This is the best way to ensure that your financial situation is accurately represented during the asset division process.
3. Start Seeking Credit in Your Name Only
While you take stock of your assets, it is smart to take out credit on your own. After divorce, you will have to take charge of your financial well-being. You may face financial hardship if you do not have credit in just your name.
You should start building your own credit as soon as possible. A good start is getting a credit card in just your name. Once you have it, make small purchases and pay them off consistently.
4. Create a Budget
This can be challenging for those who are going from a two-income home to a single-income home. However, before filing for divorce, you need to understand what your financial situation will look like.
It is smart to start saving now, too. This will help you prepare for any significant financial changes you encounter after your divorce. It is also wise to see how your finances will change before you make a major purchase. You should cut back on your costs as much as possible if you can, at least for a while. This can help you have a financial cushion during the transition period after your divorce.
5. Determine if You Will Stay or Go
Unless you are a victim of domestic violence, it is best to remain in your shared home until your divorce is final. This is only the case if it is safe for you to do this.
There are a few reasons to stay where you are. For example, even if you move out, you may have to keep paying for the costs associated with the marital home. Also, it is best to stay put as long as possible if you have kids.
Contact Our New Jersey Divorce Lawyer for More Information
If you are planning to file for divorce, it is smart to prepare. The steps above will help you get ready for the divorce process and the changes you will face after a divorce. Understanding your options and legal rights will help you make the most of the divorce process. Contact our family law firm to get a free consultation.