As you begin to uncouple from your partner, set yourself up for success by answering these questions to determine your priorities.
1. Who will stay in the home?
2. Who will pay the mortgage and other regular expenses while you are apart?
3. How will you share the money in the joint bank accounts?
4. How will you share assets like stocks and bonds? Do you have a pension? Do you know how much it's worth?
5. What about the joint credit cards? Are you going to continue to use them until the divorced is finalized or will they be closed immediately?
6. Who is going to keep the family home and other personal property? How are you going to split cherished and valuable belongings?
7. How are you going to handle shared debt?
8. Who is going to be responsible for the debt payments until the settlement is reached?
9. Is one party going to be paying spousal support? How much? How long? Make sure to consult with an attorney about this and a financial expert to ensure you don't leave money on the table.
10. What about child support? Under what terms?
11. How are you going to share responsibility for the child(ren)? What type of custody agreement will you have (sole, joint or shared)?
12. How will you handle the professional fees? Are you each going to cover your own costs? A range of professionals may be used including: financial expert, attorney, mediator, family specialist, business valuator, and more.
Please note: This is general knowledge and is not tax/ legal/ or financial advice. Work with your professional team to find out what is best for you.