Because filing for divorce is a complex legal process and an emotional endeavor, it’s in your best interest to be well-prepared before moving forward. The first step you should take is to hire an experienced divorce attorney to help you map out a strategy. After that, consider the following aspects before filing your petition.
What to Do Before Filing for Divorce
1. Organize Your Financial Records
In order for your divorce attorney to get you a fair settlement, he will need to have a comprehensive understanding of your finances. To provide this, you’ll need to pull together all relevant paperwork, including bank records, tax returns, mortgage and investment statements, and automobile titles.
2. Take an Inventory of Your Assets
Often the most antagonistic aspect of divorce is dividing up marital assets. To make the process as smooth as possible for both you and your divorce attorney, take the time to create a complete list of your valuable belongings, including jewelry, furniture, electronics, appliances, property, and family heirlooms.
3. Review Your Debts
In addition to dividing up marital assets, divorce also involves assigning responsibility for debts. Your divorce attorney will need to see statements from all of your creditors. In addition to credit cards, this can include debts like auto loans, student loans, and department store credit lines.
4. Establish Your Own Line of Credit
If you don’t have a credit card in your own name, get one so you can begin to establish your own credit identity. This will make tasks like finding a new home and getting approved for a loan much easier after your divorce. Just make sure not to rack up unnecessary debt. Use your new card responsibly and check your credit report regularly.
5. Support Your Kids
Divorce can be upsetting for children, and you need to be there for them. Regardless of what you are going through or how tricky the situation may be, make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep your kids’ daily lives as routine as possible. Be ready to talk with them, answer questions, and provide other methods of emotional support, such as therapy, if necessary.
If you’re thinking of filing for divorce, The Law Office of Christopher J. Swatosh can help. With more than 20 years of experience, the seasoned divorce attorneys at this law firm will prepare you for filing the petition and help you get the settlement you deserve. With offices in both Ava and Ozark, MO, the firm is also versed in a variety of other practice areas, including personal injury cases, criminal law, and workers’ compensation. To schedule a consultation, call (417) 683-2987 in Ava or (417) 582-5297 in Ozark.