Once you decide to end your New Jersey marriage, you will need to start planning for the process. A major area you will need to address will be finances, as you will need to figure out how to pay for your divorce, divide your assets and debts and plan for the future.
The cost of divorce
You will need to figure out how to pay for the costs associated with divorce, which can include lawyer and court fees. There are different paths to divorce and costs can range from $500 for a straightforward do-it-yourself divorce to over $20,000 for a complex divorce that ends up in a court battle.
Preparing for the division of property
Even as you are deciding on a lawyer to represent you during the end of your marriage, you should also begin to compile documents that create a realistic picture of your financial situation in preparation for divorce negotiations. Some of these documents include:
- Bank statements for savings, checking and investment accounts
- Mortgage and loan statements
- Credit card statements
- Real estate, auto, boat and other property titles
- Receipts of major purchases
- Tax returns for the previous 3 years
Planning for the future
This might also be the appropriate time to begin looking toward the future by creating a budget for your life post-divorce. The budget should include your income streams as well as your bills and other expenditures, including vacations. Additionally, you should also include future anticipated expenses, such as children’s extracurricular activities. This will help you figure out if your income alone can cover all your bills and expenses and how to plan to negotiate for child and spousal support if needed.
Financial planning before the divorce is crucial to negotiating a fair settlement. Being aware of your capabilities and limitations will also help you figure out where you need to make changes.