Divorce can be a complicated and challenging time for a family. There is an emotional toll it can take on both spouses, their children, extended family and close friends, and there are also significant financial considerations involved in ending a marriage.
Since the outcome will shape the future of everyone involved, it’s essential for both parties to prepare before filing for divorce. That means doing your homework upfront to know where both parties stand financially.
These steps will help you get ready
If you are considering a divorce, it is crucial to have detailed information:
Take inventory: Make a checklist of all your assets, accounts and other documents that you will need and have them available. Those are items, such as:
- Financial statements
- Marital and non-marital property inventory
- Bank account statements
- Investment accounts
- Real estate deeds
- Loan/mortgage papers
- Credit card list
- Wills, trusts or other estate planning documents
- Insurance policies
- Pre-marital agreement
Organize documents: Put a system in place that works for you, so you know where everything is located when your attorney, accountant or other adviser asks for information. Group documents for similar categories, such as your home, insurance or financial accounts. That will make it harder to overlook a piece of information which can impact your divorce settlement.
Classify documents: After you have identified your assets, it’s important to classify each asset as either separate property of either spouse or marital property. Louisiana is a community property state in which all assets acquired or earned during a marriage are considered equally owned by both parties.
Seek legal advice if you are considering divorce
Preparation is vital for a successful financial outcome, and all the work you do ahead of time will save you time and money. An experienced family law attorney here in Louisiana can help you through the process and will work to find the best settlement possible, or in court, if your divorce goes to litigation.