If you’ve decided that you’re getting a divorce, there are a few things that should be done immediately. The first step has nothing to do with the divorce process itself. It’s about you. Few events in life short of death and major illness have the potential to wreak havoc on one’s mind and health like a divorce. Are you taking care of yourself? You should. If there’s any doubt about your emotional wellness, make an appointment for a psychological assessment. It doesn’t mean you’re crazy. Many times the services are only required on a temporary basis. Effective counseling will help you cope with the issues you’re currently experiencing, and it will also help you develop psychological tools that will be of great benefit to you for the rest of your life.
The next thing you should do is to collect verification of as much of your spouse’s financial information as possible: tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs, business records, etc. The more you obtain now, the easier and cheaper it’ll be for you later. That’s because if your attorney needs information that you cannot get yourself, it will be requested via discovery – requests to the other party – which although necessary, increases legal expenses.
You should also keep a detailed log of significant incidents. Especially if abuse is alleged and/or child custody or visitation will be at issue, you may have to recall events later on, and keeping a log helps you do that accurately.
Another move you should consider, if you haven’t already, is to open your own individual bank account. If there’s money in a joint account, you should consider taking some of the money and putting it into your individual account and maintain that account going forward. However, this is something you should discuss with an attorney before taking any action as there are other factors that must be considered before taking this step.
You should also educate yourself about the divorce process. There’s a wealth of information online about divorce. Although you’ll probably hire an attorney to handle your case, having some general knowledge about the process puts you in a a better position to effectively make important decisions in your case.
Finally, you should immediately seek a reliable assessment from an experienced divorce lawyer. One of the biggest mistakes people make when faced with divorce is doing nothing. Of course it can be unsettling to think of the significant changes ahead. However, by not planning effectively, you may actually be hurting your chances of a favorable outcome. You should be managing your affairs in a manner that optimizes your chance of success on your divorce case. A consultation with an experienced divorce attorney is confidential and prepares you for the road ahead.
Originally Published On: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/preparing-divorce-bill-farias