While Michigan has its own state laws regarding procedures for getting a divorce, there are some basic financial steps that are always helpful for those who are about to go through the process in every state. Some planning and information gathering at the outset of the divorce process can save time, money, and aggravation later on.
Local news gives out divorce advice
A local news station for the Grand Rapids area called Wood TV reported some tips for getting financially prepared for a divorce. They consulted with an expert from an organization called divorce attorneys for women to come up with a list of the most important steps to review before filing and beginning the process.
- First, it is important to get an overview of your family’s financial situation. This can include the total income of you and your spouse, the value of a home and any other property, investments and other assets, along with things like savings or money sitting in bank accounts. If your spouse is trying to hide any of this information from you it can create a huge disadvantage in bargaining power later, so do your best to find out everything you can early on.
- Next, you should be aware of your current spending needs for things like bills and necessities along with how these may change after the divorce. Keep in mind that living alone may be more costly than splitting things like rent or mortgage payments, and utility bills, groceries, etc.
- It is also important to compare income versus your personal assets. You should have enough income to cover your living expenses after a divorce or find ways to pick up additional money from various sources if necessary. Assets may also be liquidated to gain money in the short term, but this can also become dangerous if you essentially sell off everything you own for some quick cash after the separation.
- A discussion with a tax professional can be crucial when you attempt to figure out what you will owe the year the divorce happens and in the future. If you have previously been filing taxes jointly with your spouse, you obviously will not be able to do this once the divorce is finalized.
- Finally, it is recommended to not waive the discovery process. Discovery is the term for when both sides to a lawsuit or divorce share information so that decisions are made based on the same set of facts and evidence. In divorce proceedings this is crucial to obtain all financial documentation, and waiving these rights can essentially leave you in the dark.
Talk to a divorce lawyer
At the end of the day, it may be difficult to get through all of this on your own. It is recommended to have the services of an attorney when you are going through a divorce to make sure your interests are represented appropriately. This can also extend to receiving professional advice about your financial situation as the divorce process progresses, along with any other needs you have during negotiations or court hearings.
Expert divorce lawyers are available
If you are thinking about a divorce in Grand Rapids or anywhere close by in Michigan, an attorney can speak with you today. Gordon and Hess, PLC specializes in handling divorces and related issues such as child custody and support, property division, and alimony.