How to Plan for a Divorce in a Pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic has forced many couples to spend months together, living as well as working at home, and this has pushed some to the breaking point. If you are considering filing for divorce during or after the pandemic, you can begin planning now. There are some steps that you can take in order to make the process as smooth and straightforward as possible once the divorce petition is submitted to the court, and the law office of Blair H. Chan, III is here to help. Call or contact the office today to schedule an initial consultation.
Gather Financial Records
The first step in preparing for a divorce is to gather and make copies of all relevant financial records. This may include bank account statements, W2 forms, tax returns, mortgage statements, retirement account information, credit card statements, and more. If there are records of the value of any significant asset or debt in your family you should try to make a copy for the divorce process.
Set Aside Money
You should also begin to set aside money for the divorce. This not only includes paying for the cost of an attorney but also to cover daily living expenses while the divorce is ongoing. Depending on the situation, you may qualify for temporary alimony until the divorce is finalized. Setting aside money may include setting up a separate checking and savings accounts, getting a credit card in just your name, and maybe even directing some or all of each paycheck into a separate account.
Open a P.O. Box
While the pandemic is ongoing, consider opening a P.O. Box for all divorce-related letters and correspondence. This is particularly important if your spouse is not aware that you are contemplating a divorce at this time. All communication from your attorney and any other entities that you request information from can be directed to the P.O. Box instead of your home.
Make Legal Arrangements
You can also start making legal arrangements before the divorce petition is submitted to the court. Make a copy of your marriage certificate, any prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, trust documents, licenses, wills, and any other documents that may be relevant to the process. You can also designate new beneficiaries for any trusts or insurance policies where your spouse is named in addition to updating your will and redistributing your estate to other loved ones.
Finally, start collecting receipts of your daily expenses and expenses for the household. If you have children, also collect expenses for their daily care. This can include everything from utility bills and grocery receipts to school tuition and extracurricular activities. These receipts establish your standard of living during the marriage and go a long way towards establishing whether alimony is appropriate after the divorce.
Let Us Help You Today
To learn more about how to prepare for a divorce in Florida, contact a Tampa divorce attorney at the law office of Blair H. Chan, III to schedule an initial consultation.