Divorce can be an incredibly stressful experience, but preparing as much as possible before beginning the legal proceedings will help you stay calm and organized. If you don't take the time to make a plan before filing, you may find yourself getting overwhelmed throughout the process. Here are three steps you should take right away if you're planning on filing for divorce:
1. Find a lawyer.
Finding and meeting with a lawyer should be the very first thing you do once you've decided to file for divorce. Even if you and your spouse agree on the settlement, both parties should have an attorney to help with the paperwork and legal proceedings. A small mistake at the beginning of the process could cause serious problems in the future, so you must consult with a lawyer before you make anything official.
Your attorney should have extensive experience handling divorce cases in your state. They should respond to your message fairly quickly, and you should feel as though they have your best interests at heart. Interview at least three lawyers in your area to make sure you've found a good fit.
2. Create your plan for child custody, finances, and other important matters.
Your ideal plan may not come true entirely, but outlining what you want from the settlement can help you and your attorney plan before filing. Think about what you and your spouse own and owe, and evaluate what your financial situation will look like when you're living off of solely your income. Gather up any paperwork you have relating to your finances, including bank statements, credit reports, and tax returns.
If you have children, custody might be the most challenging issue for you and your spouse. You probably already know what custody arrangement you want for your family, but your spouse may not agree. In this case, it's important that you and your attorney prepare to advocate for what you think is right, but you also have to be careful to protect your children from the emotional turmoil of a divorce.
3. Protect yourself.
Divorce is a complicated and emotional experience, and it's hard to predict how you and your spouse will handle the stress. Even if you expect the divorce to be fairly straightforward, you have to take steps to protect yourself.
One of the best things you can do is save up some liquid cash to use for your attorney's fees and to cover rent payments if you move out of your house. If you're worried that your spouse will use up all of your lines of credit, cancel your joint credit cards and other accounts. You should also keep a journal of the events relating to your divorce so that you have evidence to support your case.
Rech Law, P.C. is here.
If you're planning to file for divorce, the attorneys at Rech Law, P.C. are happy to help. Contact us to connect with an experienced family lawyer.