Once you know your marriage is over, you might be tempted to call a divorce law attorney and start the legal proceedings as soon as possible. However, the process is extremely complex, so it’s important to be fully prepared before filing the petition. Below are 10 steps you should take take before moving ahead with a divorce.
10 Things to Do Before Filing for a Divorce
1. Talk to a Lawyer
Divorce law is complicated, giving both you and your spouse rights to certain marital property and time with the children. An attorney with divorce law experience will help you develop a strategy and ensure you get everything you’re entitled to.
2. Collect the Right Documentation
A fair divorce settlement starts with a detailed understanding of your assets. Before filing the petition, collect statements from all of your banking and investment accounts, as well as mortgage documents, titles to your automobiles, and copies of your previous years’ tax returns.
3. Take an Inventory of Your Belongings
Dividing marital assets is one of the most important and often contentious aspects of getting divorced. To simplify the process and make sure nothing is left out, take a complete inventory of your valuables, including electronics, furniture, jewelry, and items of emotional significance.
4. Monitor Your Budget
Go through your account statements to find out how much you spend on housing, utilities, and basic living expenses. This information will help you establish a household budget once you start your new life.
5. Evaluate Your Debt
In addition to dividing assets, you’ll also have to decide who is responsible for which debts. Collect statements from all of your creditors, including your credit cards, store lines of credit, and auto loans, showing the balance owed and the names on the account.
6. Keep Track of Income
If your spouse works for an employer, their most recent pay stub will give you some insight into how much they earn. However, if they work for themselves or run a business, you might need to collect several months’ worth of income statements.
7. Plan for the Future
Do you already work, or have you been out of the workforce for a while? If you need to take some training or go back to school to improve your job prospects, you might want to do so before filing for divorce.
8. Establish a Separate Credit History
Having your own credit identity will make finding a place to live or getting approved for a loan after a divorce much easier. If you don’t already have one, get a credit card in your own name and start using it responsibly.
9. Start Saving Money
Starting a savings account of your own well before your divorce will ensure you have the financial resources to handle any problems that come up along the way. Having access to your own money can also minimize some of the financial effects of filing for divorce.
10. Concentrate on Your Children
As difficult as divorce can be for you, it’s even more traumatic for children. During a divorce, do whatever you can to minimize the disruption to their daily lives, and make sure they have the emotional support they need.
The experienced legal team at Weingast Law has been providing Hartford, CT, with high-quality legal services for over 35 years. Their experienced attorneys have extensive experience in every aspect of divorce law and will strive to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible. Follow their Facebook page for more legal tips and advice, and call (860) 233-1440 or visit their website to arrange a consultation today.