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How to prepare for filing divorce

It is human nature to procrastinate and to rationalize that procrastination. For instance, many Floridians may push off a divorce because they want to wait for the school year to finish. Alternatively, they may want to wait until the holiday season wraps up. They may also want to wait until the vacation trip is over. These feelings are natural. After all, not many people want to wade through emotional discussions regarding child custody, spousal support and property division.

However, a better way for Floridians to decide whether it is time to file for divorce may be to look at whether they are properly prepared for a divorce. Proper preparation requires four things.

First, Floridians need to have their financial paperwork in order. The amount of documentation can be long. Some of it has not seen the light of day in years. Assemble these documents before filing for divorce because, afterwards, it can be harder to track down documents in your spouse's control.

Second, Floridians should review their credit, and open a separate bank account. Reviewing credit means requesting a credit score and keeping an eye on the credit card. As for the bank account, not only should it be separate, it should also be at a bank where the couple does not have a joint account.

Third, Floridians should start saving money to pay for the divorce. The more complicated the divorce, the more money Floridians should squirrel away. The nest egg could become crucial, if the divorce gets contentious.

Finally, Floridians should assemble a divorce team. The team likely should include a lawyer, a divorce financial planner and a therapist. Floridians who complete these four steps put themselves in good shape for filing divorce.

Source: Forbes, "(Soon-to-be) Divorcing Women: What Are You Waiting For? Here's How To Prepare To File," Jeff Landers, June 26, 2014

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