Going through a divorce is undoubtedly one of the most difficult process a woman will ever go through, with significant personal and financial implications. Fortunately, there are ways to help alleviate the difficulty and stress involved. The following seven steps from kwslegal.com.au, are critical for all women who are preparing for divorce, to help protect their personal and financial interests.
1. Find an experienced and trusted divorce lawyer
The most important step a woman can take in preparation for a divorce is to receive early consultation from an experienced divorce lawyer. Obtaining a trusted divorce lawyer early in the process ensure that your interests are protected throughout, and that the process is followed according to the rules of the law.
2. Gather your financial records
One of the primary goals of the divorce process is the equitable division of marital assets and debts, therefore it is important to develop a clear picture early of your financial standing. This involves a determination of what assets are marital assets, what assets are personal, what you both owe and what income you both individually receive. Having this information will save you time and money, but will also give your divorce lawyer a clear understanding of your financial position
3. Review your personal financial standing in preparation for legal fees
The divorce process can sometimes take a considerable amount of time, and place financial strain on both parties. It is therefore important to review your personal financial standing, in order to ensure that you have sufficient money for day to day expenses as well as being able to afford legal fees. Taking these financial factors into consideration early can help ensure that you are not left surprised and in debt following the conclusion of the divorce proceedings.
4. Take an inventory of all of your personal assets
There is no presumption in Australian law that marital assets must be divided equally between husband and wife. Instead, the focus is on the just and equitable division of assets. It is therefore important to gather evidence of your individual contribution to certain assets. It is important to note that the courts will view parties who are at home as a stay at home parent, in the same manner as the party that is the primary breadwinner.
5. Open a new, individual bank account and open personal credit cards
In order to protect yourself financially, it is wise to open an individual bank account and take out a personal credit card during the divorce process. Keeping careful documentation of the money spent during this period of time will be important during financial settlement negotiations or in court.
6. Make changes to directives and insurance policies
If you have private health insurance, talk to your fund about options available post separation. It is important however not to remove your spouse from the family policy without prior consultation and agreement. Now is also a good time to revisit your will, and make necessary amendments.
7. Determine the amounts of temporary maintenance and child support you may need
Obtaining a child support assessment and figuring out your child support payments is beneficial financially, and also fosters cooperation between separated parents. A child support assessment will provide a balanced and equitable way of determining child support payments, taking into consideration the cost of raising children, the income of both parents and the amount of time each parent cares for the children weekly.
Following these seven critical steps can help ensure that you are fully prepared for the divorce process ahead, saving you money and time, but most importantly alleviating some of the stress and uncertainty involved in the difficult process.