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HELP ME HELP YOU: Tips for Reducing the Cost of your Divorce: FIRST INSTALLMENT

By April 4, 2013Family Law

Attorney fees and expenses can quickly accumulate to overwhelming amounts in contested divorce cases. Each week, Inetermountain Legal will provide you with a tip on how to reduce the cost of your divorce.

TIP #1.      GET A HANDLE ON YOUR FINANCIAL SITUATION BEFORE FILING FOR DIVORCE.

In Utah, marital property and debts are generally distributed equally between the parties.  Resolving property issues should not be difficult.  However, sorting through financial records can be one of the mosttime-consuming steps of the divorce process.  This is particularly true where one or both parties came into the marriage with substantial premarital assets.  Accounting may also be difficult where one party has been primarily responsible for finances, leaving the other party in the dark about what assets and debts have been accrued.

To streamline your divorce and limit the time you will spend conducting discovery, you should learn as much as possible about your financial situation before filing.  Run a credit report on yourself.  Collect your most recent statements from bank accounts, retirement accounts and credit card accounts.  Open the bills and mortgage statements that are delivered to your home.  Make separate files for marital property and separate property.

If possible, minimize the number of joint debts, assets and expenses you share with your spouse.  Pay off joint credit cards.  Open your own separate checking and savings accounts.  Take half of the money from joint accounts and then stop using those joint accounts.  Take your spouse’s name off the loan for your vehicle.  If you are worried about alimony, limit the amount of money you contribute to your spouse’s expenses and debts.

The family law team at Intermountain Legal is experienced in discovering financial assets.  Our family law attorney, Hailey Black, can advise you on the issues and options that relate to your unique case and your specific set of financial circumstances.  If the financial issues in your case seem overwhelming, contact Intermountain Legal for a free divorce consultation.

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