Five Steps to Take before Filing for Divorce

Five Steps to Take before Filing for Divorce

If you’re in a failing marriage, you may think you’re trapped between two stressful, difficult situations: staying miserable in the relationship, or struggling through a nasty divorce. Having support and a road map as you prepare for whatever you ultimately decide is important for your emotional wellbeing. Here are a few steps to take before starting any official proceedings.

  1. Consult with an experienced divorce lawyer or more. You’re not just looking for amount of cases won—you also want one who understands your personal goals for the potential divorce and listens to what’s important to you. Be sure you ask both for an overview of the process, as well as for clarifications on points that are important to you. An early consultation can save you mistakes as you proceed.
  2. Photocopy everything. Official documents have a tendency to mysteriously disappear during proceedings, and since they are the most clear line of evidence to financial and legal history, they should be in order from the start. Tax returns, spousal earnings, bank statements, retirement statements, life insurance, mortgage documents, and wills are just a few of the documents that could be useful as you move forward.
  3. Stay in your home. Unless it is an abusive situation, you must not move out. Leaving can be considered abandoning the family and may result in consequences during the divorce proceedings. You also may be unable to return until after the divorce property settlement is final.
  4. Protect your finances. There are many ways to do this. Make sure you are familiar with the financial state of the household. Create a separate bank account with your own credit card. Change your will. Consider what spousal support may be asked of you or required by you. Your goal here is to not be blindsided by any financial matters that come up in the proceedings.
  5. Remain calm. If it seems like your relationship is broken, it’s easy to stop caring, pick fights, and treat your spouse hostilely. But your behavior as the divorce approaches can set the tone for a nice or nasty settlement or trial.

As you begin your divorce proceedings, we at New Beginnings Family Law believe it’s important to have an experienced, caring legal team by your side. Contact our experienced Huntsville Divorce lawyers today for a consultation.

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