5 Crucial Steps to Take Before Filing for Divorce
In a perfect world, every marriage would last for eternity. Unfortunately, people often grow apart over time, and divorce is sometimes unavoidable. While most divorces typically are not amicable, you still control your behavior throughout the entire divorce process. Therefore, you need to remain levelheaded and develop a logical plan for you and your children moving forward.
There is no “right” or “wrong” way to go through a separation, but you should know what to expect prior to actually filing for divorce. Before you sign divorce papers or begin telling your friends and family, here are the first few things you should do:
Think about the children: If your parents divorced when you were a child, you probably vividly remember the moment you learned about their impending split. Even if your parents stayed together, you may remember some bickering or fighting between them that scared you to your core. Your divorce should not affect your children in any way. Make sure to keep them in their same daily routine and act as if nothing is wrong when you are in the same room as your current spouse.
Find a trusted divorce attorney: Once you and your spouse make the final decision that a divorce is inevitable, it is time to learn about your legal rights. Every state has different laws when it comes to divorce, and they are all quite complex. Above all else, you need to find an experienced divorce attorney who will take a personal interest in your future. You deserve an attorney who will protect your interest in both settlement negotiations and litigation.
The discovery stage: After finding an experienced divorce attorney, you’ll need to find documentation for financial transactions you have made throughout your marriage. These documents can include bank statements, tax returns, mortgage documents, wills, and anything else that affects the finances of both parties. Make personal copies of these documents in case you need to present them in court.
Consult with a financial planner: Speak with your attorney regarding the use of an independent financial planner and ask for their advice in selecting a consultant. Consulting with a financial planner will enable you to build a post-divorce budget and determine how much money you will need to live comfortably after the divorce. While you may be able to handle this step all on your own, you’re strongly encouraged to consult with a financial planner to make sure you didn’t miss anything important. A financial planner can help to estimate your monthly income and expenses without your current spouse, which will help to paint a clearer picture of what you will need to maintain your quality of life. Selected in accordance with your attorney’s advice, a financial planner can provide assistance to your attorney in settlement negotiations and litigation.
Establish your own credit: Often times, couples have been married for so long that they no longer have individual lines of credit. When consulting with a financial planner, they will advise you to obtain a credit card in your own name. This helps to avoid any rough patches in which your finances are tied up due to the divorce proceedings. Plus, it allows you to build a good credit score on your own accord.
You may feel like your marriage cannot last for one more second, but it is important to remain patient and take this process one step at a time. Try to remain in your normal routine, consult with an experienced Cincinnati, Ohio, divorce attorney at King, Koligian & Associates, LLC, and plan your next step with a level head.