Ending a marriage can be a life-changing experience for anyone in Michigan. Women, in particular, sometimes find financial matters especially burdensome after untying the knot. For this reason, divorcing women are often encouraged to get their investment portfolio and financial situation in order before officially filing for a divorce.

One way a divorcing woman can start this process is by gathering important documents. Because there is a tendency to sign tax returns without fully understanding what’s on them, it can be helpful for a divorcing woman to obtain such documents, preferably for the past three years. Obtaining tax details related to a privately held business is equally important since personal expenses are sometimes paid through corporate or company accounts.

A lifestyle analysis is an outline of a divorcing woman’s recurring expenses before a divorce and ones that are anticipated post-divorce. Underestimating such figures by not looking at things like one-time expenses that turned into recurring ones could derail post-marriage plans. Online tools that pull data from existing accounts can be used to gather this information. Another method involves collecting 2-3 years worth of financial statements to determine and verify spending habits. Lastly, there’s the net-worth statement, which is a tally of both assets and liabilities. This information can be used to present a more accurate financial affidavit to the court, which is used to assess a parting couple’s financial situation at the time of their split.

A divorce attorney may provide additional assistance with property division by consulting with neutral financial experts to help a client identify marital assets and joint debt obligations. With a high-asset divorce, a lawyer may turn to an appraiser to assign a value to artwork, stocks, and similar assets. A forensic accountant is sometimes consulted if it’s suspected that a spouse is purposely not presenting a clear picture of their financial situation.