Next Step for Divorce

You’ve done the research, and you’re ready to move forward. Step one is to meet with a divorce attorney to learn your rights and options for moving forward with your life. Call us to schedule your consult.

Step two is planning and preparing for the consult. In fact, the sooner you start your divorce planning, the better. Here are some of the next steps to preparing for your divorce.

Document your Finances

Finances are typically the first pressure situation of a divorce. Whether you have handled all the finances in the past or not you need to take a moment to review them. Find out how much your house is worth, how much your cars are worth, and how much is in your savings or IRA’s. Put together a personal balance sheet.

Gather Documents

Your attorney will need copies of important documents. Get copies of paystubs, banking statements, tax returns, credit card statements, mortgage statements, car loans, retirement statements, etc. Get copies of these documents now, because if getting them later may be harder.

Create a Budget

Create a budget, or several budgets based on different scenarios. List out incomes, and expenses. Think about how much your monthly living expenses are now, and how much they may be in the future. Error on the side of caution. Looks for items you can cut. A budget will tell give you a good idea of how much you need to tighten your spending.

Start Saving

We always recommend clients to start saving money. Or, at least to start decreasing your expenses. Clients going through a divorce need to shrink their expenses as much as possible. You will need the flexibility for unexpected expenses like attorney fees, court costs, security deposit for an apartment, car problems, etc.

Know your Goals

Figure out what you may want to fight over. And know their order of priority. Is primary custody your number one request, or is it spousal support. Identify the issues you may be more willing to compromise on. No one gets everything they want in a divorce. You need to go into this divorce with goals and reasonable expectations. Have the list ready for your attorney.

Have Emergency Plan

Things could get ugly. Especially if this divorce is a surprise to your spouse. Maintain access to your funds, as spouses may be tempted to drain accounts when they find out you are filing for a divorce. You may decide to withdraw money and deposit it into a separate bank account. This is not illegal to do. Another good strategy is to apply for credit cards and have them available if you need funds.

Think about a place you can move to if things getting really nasty, or violent. Maybe a family member, or friend. You don’t need to stay. It is not against the law to abandon your home or children to avoid physical harm. Your attorney can discuss an emergency game plan.

Read, Watch and Learn

Read, and watch divorce videos. Go through all of our content to learn more about the divorce process, your legal rights, and answers to the most asked questions. We have a divorce guide, and divorce videos. The more you know the less surprised your will be.

Seek Counseling

Divorce is 50% law, and 100% emotions. Be ready to talk with a marriage therapist. Sure, you can talk to us too, but we are attorneys not therapists. We are not as good at discussing your emotions and twice the cost. Here is a list of local marriage therapists.