Are you contemplating getting a divorce? Did you know that there are steps you should take prior to announcing your divorce (even to your spouse!).
When getting a divorce, these steps are critical early on. If you don't take these steps, it may prove to be a mistake or add a layer of complexity later on during your divorce process. ♦
- Once you and your spouse have decided that getting a divorce is what's best for both of you, don't rush things. When you're going through the process of divorce it's important to take your time, read all the paperwork carefully, and sort out your financial situation with professionals. Really try to chose an experienced divorce attorney or family law attorney that fits you and has your best interests at heart. The divorce process is emotionally tough enough, it would be intolerable, if you didn't get along with your attorney. ♦
- Again, chose a divorce attorney that has your best interests in mind, so that you're not pushed into making decisions you'll regret. Don't let an attorney tell you what decisions to make. An attorney should not be making your decisions for you, their job is to advice you and inform you of all your options. You have to live with your decisions for the rest of your life, so it's imperative that you do what's best for yourself. ♦
- It may be difficult for you and your spouse to cooperate on many issues, but consider the legal costs if you don't. One major cost is legal discover. Discovery is the process of lawyers requesting the other party turn over documents that can help the lawyer build a case on behalf of their client. Often times these are financial documents. One solution would be, prior to asking for a divorce from your spouse, it may be beneficial to collect as many financial records and documents. These documents could include bank account statements, credit card statements, tax return information, insurance, retirement accounts, mortgages, and car deeds. ♦
- Try to settle debts before divorcing. Checking your credit report can tell you if you are responsible for any debts. If you have poor or no credit, begin building that up before the divorce is finalized. You can do that by applying for a credit card while you're still married. ♦
- Change your will and account beneficiaries. If anything happens to you, you'll want to make sure that your assets go to the right people. You'll also want to make certain that your medical care is taken care of in case something happens. 4