Protecting yourself

Taking steps to protect yourself

Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself:

  • obtain your credit report and bring it with you to your first appointment
  • open a bank account, credit card and post office box in your name
  • begin saving cash so that you will be able to retain an attorney
  • reduce debt
  • change the beneficiary on IRAs, your will and life insurance policies you own.

Assembling your financial records

When you contact our office we can provide you with a list of the types of financial records you should assemble including titles, contracts, tax and wage statements, real property, credit card statements, pensions and investments. Make copies and keep them in a safe place away from the family home.

Financial planning

Advance financial planning helps us to be specific about what you need to go forward with your life.  Some of the factors I analyze include:

  • spousal support
  • child support; cost of step children
  • education, health, dental needs
  • wealth transfer strategies
  • how to stay on your spouse’s health care insurance plan—COBRA
  • the advantages of living close to your ex-spouse if you have young children
  • going from joint to single IRS filing
  • purchasing insurance while still married to get the best rates
  • refinancing your home to remove your spouse from the title
  • analyze the risks and benefits of keeping the family home
  • relocation expenses
  • identify the tax consequences of converting investments and selling real estate
  • return to work expenses including training, tools, wardrobe, supplies, and transportation
  • business planning
  • establishing credit in your own name; improving your credit score
  • debt management, bankruptcy
  • pre and post-retirement planning.

Putting your plan into action

At the conclusion of a divorce we often help clients with name changes, drafting a new will, checking credit scores, and updating personal information for Social Security, passport and other official documents.