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Organization can help make divorce easier

Perhaps one of the best steps someone considering or beginning a divorce can make is to get organized. Taking the time find important financial documents and keep them somewhere that is easily accessible can help reduce some the stress of the process and allow someone going through a divorce to concentrate on more important issues such as negotiating a fair settlement. The following information may help someone begin getting organized.

Identifying what assets and liabilities a couple has is an important step in many divorces. Assets, such as bank accounts and real estate, can often be determined through tax returns and recent financial statements. It can be important to take note of assets not listed on tax returns so they are not overlooked. Liabilities can also be determined through statements like those for credit cards, mortgages or student loans.

Child support and alimony are also important aspects of a divorce settlement, and they are determined by income. Tax returns can also provide useful information on income sources such as investments, wages from jobs or business earnings. In order to account for changes in income, reviewing several years worth of tax returns could be beneficial. Expenses can be found by looking at credit card bills, ATM withdrawals and bank statements. Reviewing current expenses and determining a plan for post-divorce spending can help make the transition easier.

Organization is not a cure for all divorce problems. However, it can help in a number of ways. In addition to reducing stress, it can help someone determine what their settlement may look like or what they may be paying in alimony and child support.

Source: CNBC, "Getting divorced? Get organized first", Valerie Adelman, March 09, 2014

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