When you think about your wedding day, many of us remember the planning it took to make the day perfect. For some, the marriage has not been so perfect and perhaps you and your spouse are contemplating divorce. Just like any event, to be successful you need to plan for the event. Divorce is no different. Absent an emergency (domestic violence, substance abuse, safety concerns etc.) the steps you should take before you see us for a consultation about a divorce are:
Gather important documents:
- Obtain a certified copy of your marriage certificate from the town or city you were married.
- Pay stubs: If possible obtain copies of your and your spouse’s most recent pay stubs.
- Bank Account Information: Make a list of all the accounts you maintain whether individually or joint with another (spouse, children, parents) and the approximate balances in each account
- Retirement Plans: Do you or your spouse have a 401(k) plan, IRA(s) or other retirement vehicle? If so, make a list of these accounts and approximate the balances.
- Real Estate: Do you own your home? A vacation home, cottage or time share? Do you know the fair market value and what about mortgages—how much is outstanding?
- Credit Cards: list your outstanding indebtedness both joint and individual accounts.
What about my children?
- If you have children have some ideas about who will have primary custody of the children and what would you see as a possible parenting plan for you and your spouse.
Child support and alimony (if any) are important matters that need to contemplated and computed. During your initial consultation we can give you important insight into the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines as well as the alimony laws of the Commonwealth.
Next: I’ve gathered all my thoughts and financial information and I want to move forward with a divorce in Massachusetts. What do I do? Call us. At Phillips, Gerstein & Channen LLP we have experienced family law attorneys who are ready to help guide and represent you through this process.