How can you get organized before a divorce?

Property division during a divorce can create emotional turmoil and challenges for both parties. You can hold onto some control of the process, however, through organizing important pieces of information in advance.

Forbes explains how a lack of organization can create a more stressful and negative divorce.

Organize and gather documents

Make a list of all the assets and accounts that you and your spouse have. This may include credit card and bank statements, real estate deeds, loan documents, and wills and trusts. While the financial documents are crucial, you do not want to forget about any premarital agreements or estate planning documents.

Once you gather the documentation, organize it. If someone asks you for the information, you need to have it readily available. Try to group similar documents so that you do not have to hunt for them later. Accuracy is crucial during property division. The documents that you have may be evidence of your assets’ value.

For instance, if you have the deed to your home, but lack mortgage documents, then you may not have a correct assessment of your home’s value.

Categorize your assets

You need to put your assets into one of two categories: marital property and separate property. Separate property is yours to keep during a divorce, whereas you have to split marital property. If you can remember how you acquired your property, it is easier to figure out whether it is marital or separate. If you acquired the property before your marriage, through a gift or inheritance, it is most likely separate property.

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