Filing for divorce is a major decision, not one that you should enter into lightly. The better prepared you are beforehand, the smoother the entire process will be. Those who have the most difficult divorces are those who are least prepared for them. Entering into things having done your due diligence, and knowing what to expect, will make things much easier.
Make Sure It’s the Right Decision
It might seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many people enter into divorce proceedings without giving the matter proper thought. This isn’t something you should do in a fit of anger, no matter how severe. This should be a well-reasoned decision that you reach after much careful consideration.
Once divorce papers have been served, even if you can legally halt the process, it will have a lasting impact on your relationship going forward. If you have any hopes for reconciliation, you should exhaust this possibility before filing.
Interview Potential Attorneys
In order to make sure that you come out of divorce proceedings as well as possible, and in order to ensure that things progress as smoothly as possible, you should hire an attorney who specializes in divorce litigation. You can find numerous individual attorneys and law firms such as Cordell Cordell, by searching online.
Once you have identified a potential law firm to hire, you should conduct an interview. This is your opportunity to vet the attorneys before you commit any money to retaining their services. Ask them about their specialist areas of knowledge, their prior experience, and of course what their fee structure is.
Gather Financial Documents
Even if your divorce proceeds amicably, you will need to disclose a lot of financial information. Your attorney, and your spouses, will want to have an accurate picture of your current financial status. This, among a number of other factors, will determine how your assets are divided between you and your spouse.
The sooner you can gather together all the relevant documentation, the sooner the necessary accounting will be done. As things progress, you may need to dig out even more information and documentation. The more of it you can find early on in the process, the less you will have to run around later.
Consider Your Custody Goals
You should be aware that, barring exceptional circumstances, you will have to share custody of your children with your spouse. It is therefore better for everyone if you are able to work out custody arrangements between yourselves. Talk to your spouse about what each of you wants in this regard as there might be a way to accommodate both of your wishes if you are willing to look for it.
Tie Up Any Purchases or Sales
Once you begin divorce proceedings, the judge will usually forbid you or your spouse from acquiring or offloading any significant assets. This is to prevent either party from attempting to conceal or deny assets from the other. If you have any legitimate transactions which have not yet concluded, it would be a good idea to wrap them up before filing for divorce.
Filing for divorce can be a very stressful time, but if you prepare adequately beforehand, things stand a much better chance of progressing smoothly.