Divorce is scary, I know. I also realize that divorce is not considered a friendly word. It makes you feel like a failure, like you are scarred, but I am here to help you think differently. Negativity does't interest me as my goal is to help you move forward with confidence. Remember, in divorce, knowledge isn't just power, it's everything. Question: Hi Catherine, my husband and I are planning on divorcing after the new year. I have not been active with our financial information. Is there anything that I should do to prepare for divorce? Answer: This is a great question and one that I get weekly. If you are thinking about divorce, here are some things to consider doing: 1. Copy all year end financial statements that will soon be arriving. These include all work related (W2s, 1099s, 401(k), IRA, pension) and personal bank and investment statements. 2. Run a credit report. 3. Make sure you have a credit card in your own name. 4. Get copies of the past two years' income tax returns. 5. Create a safe place to send and receive information ( P.O. Box/new email address). 6. Change passwords on all social media accounts and refrain from posting anything that would upset your children or spouse. 7. Start listing parenting issues and visitation options. 8. Identify any medical or dental appointments that are needed before a potential change in your insurance coverage. 9. Remove all of your copies of the above items, along with any personal, irreplaceable items, from your home and leave them with a trusted friend or family member. Lastly, many people say they want to make this the last good holiday for the families. If that's the case, respect each other, save the arguments for another day and try to start a new tradition for yourself this year. By doing that, next year will be easier and you will be on your way to making the best of your life the rest of your life! I am not a divorce advocate but I am an advocate for anyone going through divorce. I believe we should all live happily and it's better to live alone than in a lonely marriage. Please reply to me with questions or concerns that you would like me to address.
Catherine Shanahan is a CDFA, trained mediator, and a divorced mother of a blended family. www.csmdivorcesolutions.com.