Divorce tends to be a messy, emotional process. It’s easy to let the whole thing turn into a disaster when you have hurt feelings and financial problems getting in the way of the separation. However, there are some steps you can take before you even ask your spouse for a divorce that will make it a less stressful and time-consuming process. This blog post will go over three steps you need to take before asking for a divorce.
Prep Your Paperwork
Divorce relies heavily on documentation. Because of this, it’s important that you get your paperwork in order beforehand. Step one is to gather your paperwork. Here is what you will need:
- Bank statements, credit card statements, paycheck stubs
- Paperwork regarding investments, properties, and other assets
- Medical coverage and insurance information
- Tax information (tax returns, W-2 forms, etc.)
- Marriage certificates, prenuptial or post-nuptial agreements
- Trusts and wills
- Other documents relevant to you and your marriage
The second step is to organize your documents. The more you organize your own documents, the less you have to pay an attorney to gather and organize them for you. It’s important to do all this before actually asking your spouse for a divorce. Not everyone is going to react favorably – your partner may feel inclined to make it difficult for you to access these documents. It’s better to be safe and obtain this information while you still can. Also, be sure to make a copy of your documents and give them to a trusted friend or family member for safekeeping.
Figure Out Your Finances
Before you even begin the divorce process, you need to understand your finances. Look over your personal accounts and accounts you may share with your spouse. This could include investments, retirement funds, and joint bank accounts. You will need to separate everything from your spouse once the divorce process is in motion, so it’s suggested that you open up new financial accounts that your partner cannot access. Depending on your situation, you may want to wait on this, so consult a financial advisor before doing anything you’re unsure of.
Planning your finances is incredibly important to make sure that you’re able to stay financially stable once you’re separated. To start, put together a simple spreadsheet of your assets and debts. You can’t make a plan until you know what you have and what you owe. Once you understand whether or not your budget is enough to keep you afloat, you can begin thinking of ways to increase your income or decrease your expenses. This will also help you further understand what you and your spouse will split, and how much you can afford to spend on an attorney and the divorce process.
Make a Plan
Getting a divorce is scary, but you can’t do it blindly. There’s a lot to think about after you ask your spouse for a divorce. Are you able to move out of the house if you need to? Would your spouse move out? Do you have enough money to support yourself for a few months if your spouse cuts you off? What about the living situation for your children? What do you want to accomplish for yourself? The sooner you set goals for yourself, both during and after the divorce, the more likely you are to achieve them. Having answers to these questions ahead of time can save you a lot of time and stress during the divorce process.
After you complete these steps and ask your spouse for a divorce, the next step is to find an attorney. Attorneys are educated, experienced professionals that offer you advice and information about what to do in your unique situation. Attorneys come at different experience levels and pricing, so you need to find someone that works with you and your budget.
You need an attorney who will listen to you, understands your goals, and has your best interests in mind. That’s why you should call on Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates! We have the qualifications to handle any divorce case, and we work hard to find the best resolution possible for both parties.