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Prepare financial information for your divorce attorney's review

Divorce changes everything.

You'll need to figure out child custody, maybe a new place to live.

And your financial situation.

You're turning a two-income household into a one-income household, or maybe one of you has stayed home to care for the kids and will be re-entering the workforce after your divorce. It's time to consider how you'll cope financially.

Every couple in Ohio is different, but here are some general tips to consider as you proceed with your divorce.

Start writing down what you spend

What are your monthly living costs, including everything from rent to home maintenance to utilities? How much do you spend on groceries, insurance, clothing, day care, transportation and other fixed costs such as student loan payments?

Once you have this figured out, project how much you'll spend in your new household. Add in one-time expenses such as vacations or home repairs, and also think about how your household could be changing in a few years. Will your child be graduating from high school and off to college? You'll have those expenses to factor in.

Round up your financial paperwork

Compile a year's worth of statements for your bank accounts, retirement and investment accounts, credit cards, pay stubs and loans. Locate three years' worth of tax returns, too.

Don't make any huge financial changes, such as switching the beneficiaries on your retirement accounts or estate planning documents. A judge might think you aren't on the up and up, and such a move even could lead to criminal contempt charges. Keep all financial transactions with your spouse transparent. Don't take large sums of joint funds, for instance.

Don't rely on the advice of friends or family

They undoubtedly are well-meaning, but they probably don't know Ohio divorce laws. A family law attorney can review the financial paperwork you've gathered and let you know how to proceed as the divorce progresses.

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