Richard E. Fowlks, Attorney at Law

Divorce prep, do not forgo it

Are you ready to end your marriage? You may think you are, but you may want to consider doing some things before jumping right into divorce proceedings. Look, wanting to get it over with as soon as possible is understandable. Any Oregon resident in your shoes likely feels the same way. However, divorce prep is key to getting through it relatively unscathed.

A number of attorneys from all across the country contributed to an article about divorce preparation that was released in 2018. The following information may just help you achieve a divorce agreement that is fair and sets you up for post-divorce financial success. So, what things might you want to do before filing for divorce?

Suggestion number one: Obtain your own credit card and create a budget

Divorce will likely affect your credit. It happens. This may make it difficult for you to obtain any loans or other lines of credit after finalizing your divorce. Before filing, you may want to apply for credit in your name so it is there and ready for you.

Along with that, setting a budget is essential to financial success post-divorce. Creating a budget now will help you determine what you need to achieve in your divorce settlement. This knowledge can help you during the negotiations process.

Suggestion number two: Get to know your marital financial situation

If you have not taken the reigns when it comes to your marital financial situation, now is the time to dig in. During divorce proceedings is not the time to find out what assets and debts you have. If you know this information ahead of time, you'll have the ability to determine if your spouse is trying to hide any assets from you and it can help you achieve a fair division of the property. If you are not sure where to find your marital financial information, start by:

  • Running a credit check
  • Looking through the mail
  • Reading all available financial statements

If you struggle to find information you feel will be helpful, a forensic accountant may be able to assist you in this process.

Suggestion number three: Be careful whom you get advice from

Everyone you know who has been through the divorce process will likely have advice for how you should handle your situation. Know that every divorce case is different. What worked for them may not work for you. After discussing what you want to get out of the dissolution process, legal counsel can help you determine the best way to proceed.

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Richard E. Fowlks, Attorney at Law
1607 N.E. 41st Avenue
Portland, OR 97232

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