# Divorce and Finances (Relationships & Finance
Meet Mark and Sophie. They’ve recently decided to get a divorce after ten years of marriage. It wasn’t an easy decision, but they know it’s the right thing to do. However, they don’t really know how to go about it. What should they do? Well, we’ve got them covered.
The first thing the two need to understand about divorce is that it’s really about three things: Dividing property and debt Negotiating spousal and child support And determining who will raise the children That’s really it, at least legally speaking. So how do you resolve these issues? Well, it’s generally done in one of two ways: One: Both people hire divorce attorneys, and their lawyers work together to settle these issues in court. This is the traditional option, but it’s generally very expensive, plus it will result in the public exposure of your private life.
Two: Both people still hire divorce attorneys, but mostly just for legal advice, as they also hire a neutral third party called a mediator. Mediators are generally attorneys or financial advisors, like CDFAs, that work together with the couples to resolve their issues. Not surprisingly, because spousal communication is encouraged, and the results are private, medication often results in a better outcomes for both spouses. Plus, it’s cheaper, and also voluntary, so if it fails, you can still go to court. So which option should Mark and Sophie choose? Well, mediation is great for most couples, but it’s not for everyone, especially if your spouse is abusive, intimidating, or non-communicative. In these cases, you’ll really want your own lawyer to fight your battle, not you.
In either case, once you decide the route you’d like to go, it’s time to do three more things: One: Open your own checking account and credit card. Both are necessary for life as a single individual, plus it will be way easier to qualify for a credit card while you’re still married.
Two: Make sure all your taxes are filed, plus if you suspect your spouse of any financial wrongdoing, considering filing your taxes separately. Three: Start gathering as much financial information as possible, every from tax-returns, to assets and debts, to estate plans. This information is required by the state, and not only will collecting it beforehand save you money, as most attorneys or financial advisors charge for this service, but it will also give you an in-depth understanding of your financial situation, the importance of which cannot be overstated. After all, how can you negotiate for things like spousal support if you don’t even understand your own income and expenses? So great. You’ve gathered the information.
What next? Well, it’s time to actually find a divorce attorney and mediator. To do so, you can either query your personal network, search online, or use our recommended website, which makes it easy to find great legal professionals. Then, once you’ve found them, sit down, take a breath, and relax. You’ve done most of what you can do. Now, it’s time for the professionals to walk you through the rest of the process. Hopefully you, Mark, and Sophie now better understand how divorce works. If you want to see our recommendations for financial products, legal solutions, or just more educational material, be sure to check out our website.