Now that the holiday season is firmly over, it's time for a new season. While family bonding time peaks over November and December, divorce season follows, with divorce filings peaking in February and March. If your spouse tells you they want a divorce, it can be devastating. But to protect yourself, your children, and your future financially, here are five steps you should take quickly.
- Identify Your Assets
The first step you should take is to identify all of your assets, including yours alone and those that you hold jointly with your spouse. You'll need to figure out how much money you have and where it is, including bank accounts, brokerage accounts, investments, and mortgages, as well as any personal or real property. It's good to have an idea of the value of each asset as well.
- Make Copies of All Financial Statements
After identifying your assets, ensure you get copies of all your financial statements right away, including bank and brokerage statements, tax returns, and financial documents. You don't want to risk your spouse locking you out of an online account before you have this information.
- Secure Some Cash
Don't clean your bank accounts out, but it is a good idea to move some money out of a joint account and into an account in your name so that you can cover your bills. Once again, you don't want to risk being locked out of an account containing all your liquid assets.
- Consult a Family Lawyer
It's important that you understand the divorce laws in North Carolina, how a court may divide assets and liabilities, any child support you can expect, the information and documentation your attorney will need, and what you can expect going forward. A skilled North Carolina family attorney can help guide you through this process.
- Consult a Financial Advisor
If your family's financial situation is complicated, you may need a financial advisor to explain what you have and what you can expect. Moreover, a financial planner can help you figure out your short and long-term financial needs before you begin negotiations over finances with your spouse.
You Need an Experienced Family Lawyer
If you're facing a divorce in North Carolina, you need a skilled family lawyer by your side during the process. We are North Carolina family lawyers with years of experience helping families like yours. Give us a call at 919-719-2785 or contact us online.