Applying for a divorce isn’t an easy process. Other than the emotional process of separating from your spouse, ending a marriage comes with tons of paperwork, settling debts, division of assets, and navigating a new future.
Even worse, it might take months for the divorce process to be finalized. Knowing how to prepare for this exercise helps make it less overwhelming.
Here are some of the steps to take when preparing for divorce.
- Get a Divorce Attorney
The divorce process is easier and cheaper if you and your spouse can agree on an out-of-court settlement. The idea is, there’s no need to spend 20 to get 10, both emotionally and financially.
As an alternative to going to court, you may consider mediation or a collaborative approach to your case. A collaborative approach works for a couple with complex issues and lots of resources but wants to stay out of court.
In mediation, the parties engage a neutral party who helps them resolve key questions in divorce like co-parenting, property division, and debt repayment. Nothing prevents you from engaging your attorney throughout the exercise.
For better results, be sure to engage competent and qualified lawyers to handle your interests. For instance, you can walk into the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates and seek guidance on how to proceed and what your legal options are.
- Gather Financial Information
Next, you need to know the status of your finances. This will determine the distribution of debts and marital assets.
In doing this, you can start by determining your assets. What do you own?
Some assets and marital property are obvious. These include the marital house, any vehicles, or financial accounts that should be split equitably. Other not-so-obvious assets include pension plans, artwork, and inheritance brought into the marriage.
Gather the documentation regarding every asset including the time of purchase and the present value. Be sure to state whether it was bought with joint funds or not. Turn all these documents to your lawyer and retain a copy.
- Assume Everything Will Be Played Out in Court
A divorce process is by no means an easy feat. However, no matter what happens don’t get into a verbal or physical confrontation with your partner. Such confrontations can be used against you in court. The same applies to Facebook posts, emails, texts, voicemails, or social media posts.
The best way to protect yourself, avoid talking or writing bad things about your spouse. Yes, this might appear difficult to you depend on the situation. But remember, crazy things happen during divorce proceedings.
Before you utter anything, ask yourself, “would I be content if the judge read or heard this? If not, then don’t share it.
- Don’t Leave the Marital Home
Do you want to stay in your marital home during the divorce proceedings? Maybe you want to stay in this home after the divorce. If that’s the case, then don’t move out during the exercise.
Moving out of the home may indicate that you’ve given your spouse the de facto possession of the property. You don’t want this to happen. If you have kids, they should stay in their home during this emotionally draining moment. You can also talk to your lawyer especially if you want exclusive access to the property.
Getting a divorce is an emotional and financially draining process. Even worse, it takes a huge toll on the children. The only way to protect yourself and your children is by preparing for this exercise in advance. That way, you’re assured that your interests and that of your kids will be taken care of.