When not planned correctly, divorces can become expensive and take up months or even years of your time.
The smoothest divorces involve a lot of pre-planning. Take into consideration these four things before you file.
1. Anticipate the type of divorce
In the best-case scenario, you and your spouse will talk beforehand and come up with a game plan together. Unfortunately, that is not always a viable option. Anticipating your spouse’s response can help you prepare for what type of divorce you might file for and what points of contention there may be. More points of contention mean a longer divorce process.
2. Make sure you are eligible
Before you can file for divorce in New York, you must establish residency. That means either you or your spouse must have lived in New York for at least two continuous years. Exceptions exist for couples who have gotten married in N.Y., cohabitated in N.Y. or established the grounds for their divorce in N.Y. They can file after only living in the state for one year.
3. Take inventory
Itemize all your assets and belongings. All marital property is subject to separation upon divorce, so having a list of marital and non-marital property can expedite the process. Do not hide any assets, either. If the courts discover you have hidden assets, you could face charges of fraud.
4. Collect paperwork
You will need to assemble financial paperwork to process your divorce. To prepare, compile current income information, debt statements, business financial statements, investment account statements, asset appraisals and five years’ worth of tax returns. Having all the paperwork early can save time down the road.
Preparing for your divorce can ensure you remain calm and collected and have a strong case moving forward.