Preparing for your Westchester Divorce
Often, individuals will come to our office ready to file for divorce or recently served with divorce papers and not knowing what to do next. The best piece of advice that we give all of our Westchester divorce clients is to “be prepared.” Preparation is an important part of making the experience of going through a divorce easier. Providing your attorney with competent and reliable information and financial materials allows us to develop and implement a divorce plan and strategy that best benefits your situation.
When consulting and speaking with your divorce attorney, think carefully about the details of your specific case, the effect on your life, and your children. As divorce attorneys, we are working to help the client protect their rights and interests, so it is important that you, as the client, have an understanding of what you are trying to achieve and protect by commencing the divorce action.
The legal issues involved in a Westchester County divorce are very specific and will include your finances, the equitable distribution of marital assets, child custody and access, child support, and spousal maintenance.
1. Organize your financial documents
First, secure copies of important financial documents including tax returns, insurance policies, bank statements, investment accounts, salaries, and benefit programs.
2. The Expense Journal
Keep and maintain a journal of all your expenses, along with receipts. Expenses related to the children are critically important.
3. Have your own Bank Account
Open up a bank account solely in your name and separate from the bank where your spouse has accounts. Having available funds for expenses, retaining a divorce attorney and alleviating any financial burdens is important.
4. Keep inheritances separate
It is important to keep any and all inheritances separate from the marital estate. Do not put an inheritance into joint names or accounts with your spouse. Furthermore, don't use your inheritance money to pay for family expenses or purchases or to pay down debts.
5. Don't quit your job
Once the divorce action is started have financial independence is crucial. So it is important that you do not leave or quit your employment.
6. Save receipts
To the best of your ability, save all of the receipts for major purchases while you are still married and living together with your spouse. Try to keep them in a secure location.
9. Secure Your Important Documents
All of your valuable documents should be stored in a safe place. Retirement accounts, bank accounts, birth certificates, passports, and licenses are just some things that you should locate and secure.
For more information on preparing for a divorce or to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case, contact the Westchester divorce lawyers at Proto, Sachs & Brown, LLP at (914) 946-4808 or Contact Us on-line.