If you have made up your mind that divorce is the only option, then filing for the divorce is the one thing you need to do in order to make it move forward. However, there are many different things you will want to do before you actually file. From getting a lawyer to getting your assets in order, divorce will bring on a lot of different things you’ll need to handle beforehand. Check out these five things to do before filing for divorce.
1. Find a divorce lawyer
A divorce lawyer can help ensure you handle the divorce in the best possible way. In addition, they can also ensure you are filling out the right paperwork and making the right moves in order to protect yourself during the divorce. Before you file, it’s a good idea to have a divorce lawyer under retainer. Do some research to find out what divorce lawyers are in the area, and then pick the one that’s right for your needs. According to Schwartzapfel Lawyers, “Finding the right divorce lawyer requires you to look into the backgrounds, cases, and overall reviews of different lawyers in the area who specialize in divorce. Once you’ve found that list, take advantage of the free consultations and choose the lawyer that feels most comfortable to you.”
2. Keep your children in mind
Divorce will greatly affect your children, so it’s important to keep them in mind during the entire process. Have an idea of the child custody laws in your state so you’re aware of what the process will be and what your future time with your children will look like. In addition, you’ll also want to determine the best thing to do with your children once the papers are filed. Will your spouse fight to have the children stay with them, or will you be able to amicably decide the custody of your children? You’ll also want to decide the best time to tell your children about the divorce. This may be something that would best be done together with your spouse, but each situation is different and warrants its own decisions.
3. Consider your finances and assets
If you have joint bank accounts and credit cards, you’ll want to consider this before you file. For instance, you may want to have your paychecks deposited into a separate account that only you have access to. This way, you can rest assured you’ll have some money to help you get through the divorce. In addition, you’ll want to ensure you’re not doing anything illegal. For instance, having a separate account is one thing, but trying to hide that account from lawyers during the divorce can put you into jeopardy.
If you have joint credit cards, it may be a good idea to have one in your name only. This way, should the accounts become defaulted because of the divorce, you won’t have to worry about your credit being completely ruined.
4. Have a plan
If you are the one filing for divorce, then you are the one who will need to have a plan in place. For instance, where will you live after the divorce has been filed? After all, it may not be possible for you to stay in your current home, so you’ll need to have some living arrangements set up. This is also true for anything else that may need to change, such as your vehicle, your job, etc. If you don’t have a plan in place, the divorce will just be ugly and create too much stress.
5. Have an idea of what you want
When you go through divorce, the legal system will likely split your assets based on what you brought to the marriage and the value you have now. And while you will likely have to make compromises during this time, it’s still a good idea for you to have an idea of what you want. For instance, are you willing to move out or do you want the house? If you want the house, can you afford to buy it from your spouse? The same thing goes with any other assets you may have. Have a general idea of what you want, but also understand that you’ll need to negotiate and be reasonable too.
Filing for divorce is a very serious decision to make, and before you go ahead and sign the paperwork, it’s important for you to take these aforementioned steps. After all, being prepared can help make the situation easier in the long run.