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Preparing for the divorce process

In this blog and in the media, much attention is paid to the emotional struggles that accompany divorce. There's no doubt that the divorce process can stir up a myriad of negative and conflicting feelings and emotions. Compounding the difficulties of coping with these difficult emotions is the actual divorce process, which is complicated and often lengthy.

While no one can fully prepare for the unexpected twists and turns that frequently accompany a divorce, being informed and organized can greatly reduce the stresses and headaches that accompany the process.

While every divorce and individual's circumstances are unique, preparing certain information and documents in advance of meeting with an attorney or entering into divorce settlement negotiations can be tremendously helpful. For example, individuals who are able to present tax returns, bank statements, retirement account statements, credit card statements and a list of investment accounts early in the divorce process are ahead of the game.

Additionally, information related to a couple's possessions, property, debt, estate planning and insurance documents must all be taken into account and factored in a divorce settlement. In cases where minor-aged children are involved, additional documents related to a child's welfare, education and health may also be evaluated.

While there are bound to be challenges associated with divorce, individuals who understand the legal process and what's necessary in order to reach a divorce settlement and finalize a divorce, often feel more in control. A divorce attorney can answer questions, provide guidance and advice and work to negotiate terms of a divorce settlement that serve to meet an individual's current and future personal and financial needs.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Checklist: Documents to Show Your Divorce Attorney," 2014

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