It’s the time of year when many people are writing down (or, at least, forming thoughts about) their New Year’s resolutions. Do you have a list? Perhaps, your goals include getting outdoors on a more regular basis, eating healthier foods or reading for leisure more often. Then again, your resolution might be a bit more personal, such as moving on to a new lifestyle as a single person.
If you’re planning on filing for divorce in the new year, you’re definitely not the only one in this state or elsewhere to be making such plans. In fact, many people believe that a new year is a perfect time to make a new start in life. Whether you expect proceedings to be rather simple or highly complex, you’ll want to be as prepared as possible, which means you should set up a strong support network from the start.
Compile documents ahead of time
One thing you’ll want to avoid is walking into a courtroom with no idea about important issues, such as how much money you have in the bank, tax information and more. This is why it pays to gather pertinent documents ahead of time and carefully review them, so you have a clear understanding of your current financial status.
It’s equally important to know what your assets are and also each liability for which you may be responsible. You’ll want to make sure you have access to real estate documents, vehicle titles and any information regarding loans, as well as any existing court orders that stem from another case.
Creating a new budget
As you make plans to become a single-parent household, you’ll want to assess your estimated cost of living, so you know what to expect and what you need (financially speaking) to get by. This not only includes issues like home utilities, food and transportation but also other expenses, including education tuition and fees, pet care, health care and temporal needs such as food, clothing and shelter.
What about child support?
Especially if you have been a full-time, stay-at-home parent during marriage, you may be planning to request child support when you divorce. Every state has its own guidelines regarding such matters. A family court judge can typically order a higher or lower amount than the suggested guideline amount.
The key factor here is that, once the court rules, both you and your ex must fully adhere to the terms of the court order, unless the judge modifies the order. Providing for your children’s financial needs is definitely a high priority issue, which is why it pays to do as much research ahead of time as you can so you can work toward a fair and satisfactory divorce settlement.