Divorce can make those going through it feel like they have no control over their future. The process can be contentious, especially if children are involved. But there are steps you can take to protect your financial future.

In Georgia, marital property is distributed in an “equitable” manner, meaning a judge will fairly divide marital assets between spouses, but that doesn’t mean it will be an equal split. If you are considering divorce, you can receive a better outcome by educating yourself about your current financial situation.

Three steps to help you prepare

Divorce takes an emotional toll on everyone involved, but you can regain a feeling of control by taking these actions:

Document all income and property: The first step to protecting your financial future is by making a detailed inventory of everything you and your spouse currently own, such as:

  • Wills and trusts
  • Bank and investment accounts
  • Retirement accounts
  • Real estate holdings and deeds
  • Credit card statements
  • Insurance policies
  • Mortgage and loan documents
  • All marital and non-marital property

Categorize your documents: Once you know where all your assets are located and have the documentation to back it up, group similar records together in different categories, such as banking, retirement, real estate and so on. A detailed approach will help you and your attorney assess your financial situation and make it less likely to leave out vital information.

Classify your assets: Once you document and categorize all your accounts, it’s time to label each as a marital or non-marital asset. Your attorney will help you determine how to classify property that you’re unsure of, such as retirement accounts. For other properties, you’ll need to know how it was acquired and whether it was received through inheritance, purchased prior to the marriage or was given as a gift.

Choose knowledgeable and personal legal advice

Divorce is disorienting, and the process can feel chaotic with all the moving pieces. That’s why it’s crucial that you have a complete understanding of your finances before filing. An experienced family law attorney here in Georgia will focus on helping you achieve the best outcome to protect your financial future, whether it’s through negotiation or by fighting for you in court.