The most basic thing you should decide before filing for a divorce is if you want to pursue a fault or no-fault divorce. A no-fault divorce relieves you from the burden of proof, but an at-fault divorce may help you obtain child custody and spousal support.
Once you choose which route you will pursue, you may be able to reach a settlement with your spouse outside the courtroom through an uncontested divorce. Otherwise, you would have to proceed with a contested divorce, and the court will settle the disputes for you.
Regardless of the directions you will take, you should know all your and your spouse’s financial information and get all your financial records together.
Why should I get my financial records together before divorce?
Like most states, Georgia laws aim to divide matrimonial property fairly but not necessarily equally. The division will depend on the financial circumstance of each spouse during the marriage and after the divorce. Whether you choose to reach a settlement inside the courtroom or privately, you should have a clear picture of your finances to know where you stand.
You might want to start by inventorying all your separate and marital assets to see what you have and what the assets are worth. It can also give you an idea of your outstanding debts and taxes. Having all your financial records together may help you reach a more favorable outcome and prevent the other party from taking advantage of you. It can also impact any award of child support and spousal maintenance.
Protecting your financial security after your divorce
Many factors will affect the division of marital property, including the length of the marriage and the future needs of each spouse. Your financial records can help you allot a divorce budget and create a divorce settlement goal to preserve the standard of living you had during the marriage.