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3 ways to prepare for a divorce in the New Year

As 2017 is coming to a close, you may be thinking about ending your marriage. After making it through the holidays, you may want to have a fresh start in 2018 and file for divorce in January. While you may wait until the new year to file, you will want to do some planning before then.

Divorce takes a lot of work, and you must get some things in order before you officially begin the process. Here are some steps you should take now so you are ready to divorce in 2018. 

1. Take inventory of your property

Knowing what you own is crucial to preparing for divorce. Make a list of all your property, including:

  • Real estate
  • Vehicles
  • Retirement accounts
  • Life insurance
  • Business interests
  • Household goods and furniture
  • Collectibles and antiques
  • Safe deposit boxes

When creating this list, determine what may be separate or marital property. This will prepare you for the property division process

2. Organize essential documents

You will need some papers during your divorce proceedings. Assemble important documents such as:

  • Mortgages, deeds and home equity loans
  • Vehicle loan papers and titles
  • Tax returns
  • Estate planning documents
  • Insurance documents
  • Proof of income
  • Investment records
  • Marriage certificate

Gathering these documents now will prevent you from having to scramble for them later. You should also make copies of everything.

3. Make a budget

Divorce can be expensive. Create a budget for the following expenses:

  • Utilities
  • Food
  • Transportation
  • Clothing
  • School supplies
  • Insurance
  • Health care
  • Education
  • Entertainment

Making a budget will help you determine how much you can afford. You should also start to think about what child support or spousal support will look like. 

According to the Huffington Post, the New Year is a common time for divorces to begin. While this timing makes sense to many people, including you, make sure you do some planning ahead of time. Follow the three steps above to be ready for the end of your marriage.