Though life-changing events happen throughout life, you may not have expected some of them. In particular, you likely did not anticipate finding yourself dissatisfied with your marriage to a point where you wanted a divorce. However, you now face that situation.

Understandably, you want to get yourself ready for this life change as best as possible. In particular, your financial affairs may come to the forefront when you think about the most important matters in your case. Preparing financially for divorce is a wise step to take, and if possible, starting that preparation well before your case begins could help.

What can you do?

Fortunately, you have various options for getting your finances in order before ending your marriage. One of the most important steps involves understanding your spending. You likely have household expenses to consider, insurance coverage, groceries, vacation costs and one-time expenses, such as replacing an appliance. If you have kids, you may need to consider whether you will need to pay for childcare. Understanding these costs could help you better determine what you need from your divorce in terms of property division, alimony or child support.

Next, you will want to have documentation for your financial matters. Bank account records, retirement account information, investment documents, pay stubs, credit card statements, tax returns, inventory of marital and separate property, and more could all have information you need. Because it can take time to gather all needed paperwork, starting early is wise.

Fight for what you need

Determining what you will need in terms of money after divorce is helpful, but it does not mean that you will simply get everything that you need from your case without issue. Likely, your spouse will also have an idea of what he or she wants from the process, and you may need to fight for what you need.

Luckily, you do not have to try to handle any of these matters on your own. An experienced family law attorney can go over your financial information, explain how New Jersey law can affect divorce outcomes and help you find the best options for moving forward. Your legal counsel could also help you strategize and come up with negotiation options in the event that you have a particular asset or financial matter to fight for.