Family & Relationships

Getting Divorced? Think like a Celebrity

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By the time celebrity divorces hit the news and tabloids, you can bet that many meetings have taken place with attorneys, financial advisors and public relations experts. Celebrities need everything to be buttoned up as much as possible before they are in the spotlight.

If you are currently considering a divorce, keep in mind that even though your divorce won’t garner national attention, having a plan in place will make it easier. Consider doing the following four things to be prepared.

1. Start collecting financial documents.

Preparing for divorce requires gathering all relevant documents related to your bank and brokerage accounts, tax returns, mortgage loans, joint savings and checking statements, insurance policies, investment reports, credit card statements, retirement accounts and a recent credit report. Watch the mail for statements from banks, credit card companies and the like.

Once collected, make copies and store them somewhere secure in case the originals aren’t accessible later. (Keep in mind that a safe deposit box may not be secure if you and your spouse both have access.)

2. Check credit reports.

It can be helpful to have a clear picture of your credit history in case you need to manage or improve your situation before you are on your own. Take the time to request a free credit report, which you are allowed once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax®, Experian® and TransUnion®. The only official site to help consumers to obtain their free credit report is AnnualCreditReport.com.

3. Research divorce professionals in your area.

If you want to ensure the best possible outcome for your divorce, take the time to find a compatible divorce attorney. Divorce can be a difficult and emotional journey and the right attorney can help make that easier, rather than fuel the problem. After the divorce is over, everyone will still have a life to lead. If children are involved, it is even more important to avoid creating hostility.

4. Keep it confidential.

Since two people are involved in the divorce, issues of privacy will arise. You have to be able to see the bigger picture if you are going to take the high road during divorce. In matters of privacy, respect goes a long way. Think of your children, think of your ex’s family, your family and even your ex. Does airing dirty laundry — whether it’s on social media or over coffee — really benefit anyone?

That said, confiding in a trusted friend or counselor can help you work through your feelings. If you don’t have a friend that will keep your information confidential, a therapist is always a great option.

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