You’re making that huge transition to divorce your spouse. Here are the top 5 things you need to do before you file for divorce.
1. Make the decision and stick to it:
Be certain you want to get divorced – you don’t want to regret this decision later. We recommend speaking with a professional such as a therapist or divorce couch if you are on the fence. Emotions felt during this period can confuse you and cloud your judgment. Develop a strategy for keeping your emotions in check. It’s a lot easier when a professional is involved! (See tip #5)
2. Find an attorney:
Shop around for a good attorney who is the best fit for you. You and your attorney will be working together, and you want this relationship to run smoothly. It’s also recommended that you seek help from professionals such as a therapist or divorce coach. They can really make a positive impact and help ease the transition to being single.
3. Gather Financial Information:
This means gathering statements on the income that both you and your spouse make. Know how much it costs monthly to run your household. This will also help you prepare for the exchange of mandatory disclosures. More on that below.
4. Have at least a year’s worth of documented individual and shared assets:
This includes things like bank accounts, savings accounts, investment accounts, credit cards, retirement accounts, mortgages and shared property. At some point, you will need to exchange these documents with your spouse as part of what is called mandatory disclosures. This can get overwhelming; so it’s helpful to prepare!
5. Speak with a professional.
It’s important that you know what to expect. If you chose to do your own divorce, you should speak with an attorney to make sure you’re not waiving any rights and are going in the right direction. Also, take advantage of those attorneys who offer free consultations. Make a list of questions before the meeting so that you can get the most out of your consultation. Filing for divorce is a big decision, but with the right preparation, you can come out on the other side satisfied with the ruling.
The legal process can get difficult, which is why we always recommend that you seek the assistance of counsel; or at least have a consultation. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to review the issues of your case, the legal options you may have, and certain rights that pertain to your unique situation.
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