6 STEPS TO TAKE WHEN
POSSIBLE BEFORE YOU MOVE OUT OF THE
Marital HOME . . .
1. Consider Staying in the Marital Home -
- This is not marriage counseling advice. Many people believe if they are the ones initiating the divorce they must be the one to leave the home. But that is not true and when you move out you lose a lot of control over what happens to the home in the short term and access to information. Also, you may be setting yourself up to paying for two households, as courts commonly try to maintain the "status quo", particularly when there are children.
2. Locate and Copy All Important Records and Documents You Have Relating to Income and Debt.
- Income: make up a list of ALL income, which can include reitrement funds, trusts, government checks - everything. Then gather all income documentation - photocopy pay stubs, tax returns, loan and credit card applications, and bank account statements, particularly if one spouse is self employed. Once someone moves out, access to important financial documents can diminish or even disappear.
- Debt: documentation on the debt is usually not a problem, but be sure to copy everything so that nothing is left out.
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DID YOU KNOW . . .
. . . the State of Colorado provides several ways to roughly calculate child support yourself?
You can download Family Law Software:
You can also use worksheets available from the Colorado Judicial Branch. Click here:
Without experience, using these materials can be very difficult.
At the Law Offices of Gregory Stross, we can provide as little or as much assistance as you may need, possibly saving you thousands of dollars.
Start with a 30-Minute Family Law Consutation and we figure out together what legal help you do and don't need.
STEPS TO take BEFORE moving out (cont.d)
3. Documenting Property.
- A list of all property and assets also needs to be drawn up. It should show purchase price and estimated current value. For expensive assets, and items that you brought into the marriage or have particular sentimental value, PHOTOGRAPH EVERYTHING. A few simple pictures helps in putting togther an inventory and can be important evidence. Even photograph real property, such as the house, so you can show the condition it was in, if ever necessary.
4. Create a Budget for the Short-Term and Long-Term.
- Using the information you've pulled together, put together a realisitic budget. Ask yourself what it will take to maintain two households - or put another way, what kind of lifestyle adjustments might need to be made. Your attorney can give you guidence in determining what the law likely to impose with regard to any maintenance (alimony) and child support.
5. Gather the Appropriate Resources You'll Need.
- In order to avoid being at a disadvantage, it is essential that the leaving spouse gather all possible resources. In addition to the expense of a second household, divorce itself can be expensive and thought must be given in advance to having enough resources so that you will be on a level playing field with the other spouse.
- Legal advice is important in this area, as judges take a dim view of a leaving spouse departing with more than a fair share of the furniture, and the available cash and credit.
6. Most Importantly, if there are Children, Prepare for How You will Parent Apart.
- This begins with being ready to help the children cope with the change and to minimize their stress. In every aspect of dealing with children in a divorce, you must always take the high road in every respect - even when things appear to be unfair and it seems like you're not getting credit for being on that high road. Ultimately, you will never regret doing so.