Staying organized can be a huge asset in your divorce proceeding, as it can help you communicate information, expectations and needs to your lawyer effectively. This allows your lawyer to pick up on details that can improve your case.
What it means to be organized
Organization in the divorce context means:
- keeping track of time spent with children,
- spending habits,
- debt management and
- staying on top of court dates.
Before meeting with your lawyer, collect information that shows your assets and debts. This includes:
- real property,
- personal property,
- retirement accounts,
- investment portfolios,
- checking and savings accounts.
Marital assets generally do not include inheritances or property/assets that were obtained before the marriage, but it is still helpful to bring any documentation identifying these things so that they can be set aside from the marital assets being divided. Your divorce financial advisor can quickly, efficiently and cost effectively get to work maximizing the amount of your temporary spousal and/or child support.
How it can help
Armed with a thorough snap-shot of your financial and familial state at the time of marriage and separation, lawyers can easily assess what additional information is needed during the discovery process; one of the best ways to find of what you need to know is to take inventory of the information you already have.
Furthermore, custody and access decisions are decided in the best interests of the child. To determine what is in the child(ren)’s best interest, the Court will consider a variety of factors, including:
- emotional ties,
- financial stability,
- physical/mental health and safety, and
Keeping clear and organized records can help paint a picture for the Court about where and how kids are spending their time.
If you and your spouse can come up with a workable arrangement in advance, you will save yourselves time and money. Being organized can facilitate scheduling shared time and display qualities like responsibility and a strong desire to prioritize the child(ren).
Being organized can also benefit your mental health by reducing stress and avoiding surprises later. Preparing yourself as possible from the out-set of your case often results in a less expensive and better outcome.