How To Plan For Your Divorce
The decision to end your marriage is probably not an easy one. Maybe you have been thinking about it for a while, or maybe you’ve only recently considered it. Regardless of the position you are in, it may be helpful to take calculated action before you file. Planning and preparing for divorce can help you in many ways: It can protect your legal rights, it can help reduce the amount of stress when you go through the divorce process, and it can give you time to think about your divorce-related goals.
Are You Thinking Of Ending Your Marriage?
Here are some things we recommend you do while in the planning phase and before your first meeting with our law firm:
- Gather information on your marital debt: Document current balances on your mortgage, credit card and other types of debt. Make sure you know what debt is in your name, what debt is in your spouse’s name and what is jointly held debt.
- Document marital versus separate property: It’s helpful for your lawyer to know what property was acquired during the marriage and what you had separately before the marriage. Also, note any separate inheritances or gifts.
- If you have concerns about adultery or your spouse’s drinking or spending habits: Look for any evidence in credit card statements, internet history or phone records. Make copies of this evidence. It is also helpful to keep a log of your spouse’s actions that may point to these issues. For example, record each time your spouse comes home drunk or if he/she stayed out all night.
- Save money: To the extent that you can, begin to save money for your future. After a divorce, living in two separate households means increased expenses. If you can begin to save money now, this may ease your financial burden in the future.
- Consider your divorce-related goals: Start thinking about what your objectives are in the divorce. Do you want to keep the house? Do you want primary custody of your children? Will you be seeking alimony?
- Don’t communicate your divorce plans: Until you consult with an attorney it is best not to tell your spouse that you want a divorce. You need to understand the process and the costs first. You also want to ensure that your spouse does not retaliate in some way, such as spend down your money or resort to physical violence.
- Do not move and take your children with you: Unless your personal safety and that of your children are at risk, do not leave your homestead. This can hurt your position when it comes time to discuss child custody. If you are in an abusive household, contact our law firm immediately for help with a protective order.
We can help you understand the positive steps you can take (and what actions to avoid) before you file a divorce petition. Then, once you are ready, we invite you back to our firm to get started on your legal strategy.
Learn More About Preparing For Divorce. Contact Us Today.
The first step in the process begins with a call to our law firm. Even if you do not plan to file for divorce immediately, we can help you understand what steps to take now. Contact our Athens divorce attorneys at 706-621-5166 to learn more.