1. What do you spend? This sounds like it’d be simple enough. But often, it’s not. If you haven’t taken care of the finances, this can become an insurmountable process. How much do you spend for gas? How much do you spend on taxis? And your nails? How many credit cards do you use? What payments are automatically deducted each month that you don’t have to worry about?
Unless you’ve got a way to track every expenditure (and few of us do that) it’s much harder than you might think.
2. Do you have access to all the financial documents? Your attorney will give you a list of everything he/she needs. It’s going to feel overwhelming at first. Statements for every bank and investment account and that’s just for starters. If you are involved in a high net worth divorce, yes, there is discovery and yes, your attorney can issue subpoenas. But all of that costs money. If you don’t now, be sure to get access to the documents or find out where they are kept so your attorney and financial expert can get access.
3. What is your lifestyle going to be after the divorce? That depends. What is it now? How much money will you be receiving? Everything is dependent upon a whole host of factors. How does your attorney think you will fare in negotiations versus going to trial? What are your options after the divorce? If children are involved this gets even more complex. Clients often tell me they just want to get this done and I understand that completely. But assuming everything will work out, and not being clear on what your lifestyle will be post-divorce means you might not be able to live the way you’d planned.
If you are in the midst of a divorce, or think that a divorce is in your future, don’t let these things become a distraction or problem. Get ahead of the process. I can help.