Steps To Take When Divorce Is Imminent
Marriage is hard. Sometimes it’s worth saving. In some cases, though, one person may be doing all the work and that can wear on a person over time. Or there may be abuse or infidelity involved.
In any case, a divorce may be the best choice. It allows both parties to move and find better partners.
If you know divorce is imminent, it’s best to prepare. A divorce is not an easy thing to go through and it requires a lot of planning. In fact, it’s not uncommon for the divorce process to take many months or even years. Here are the steps you need to take now.
Hire a Lawyer
Even if you think the divorce will be amicable, you need to hire a lawyer to ensure your best interests are at heart. The right lawyer will help you avoid litigation and instead focus on mediation and collaborative divorce to help you and your spouse resolve disagreements about property division, child custody, and other elements.
Gather Financial Information
This can be a complex job, but you’ll need to help your lawyer get a good idea of your finances, including assets and debts. This will help with the property division aspect.
You’ll need to gather documents that show your assets, such as bank statements, deeds, and titles to cars. You’ll need to include other assets as well, such as intellectual property, pensions, artwork, collections, and stock options. Any documentation you have should be given to your attorney.
But don’t stop there. Marital debts also need to be divided. Your credit report will likely show all the debts you have. Gather all the statements regarding these debts and give them to your lawyer.
Along the same lines, you will also need to show the incomes of you and your spouse. This means providing your lawyer with pay stubs and tax returns. If you or your spouse are self-employed, you will need to provide bank account statements and business statements to show income.
Get a Budget Together
After a divorce, you’ll have less money to live off of, so plan accordingly. How much will you be earning? Where will you live? How much will be your rent or mortgage? Figure out your new budget ahead of time so you know what to ask for in the divorce.
Protect Financial Accounts
Many spiteful spouses raid financial accounts out of revenge. They may take all the money out of a joint bank account or rack up charges on a joint credit card. If there is a possibility this could happen, you need to be proactive. Close joint credit cards right away and take half of the money out of the bank account.
Seek Legal Help
Sometimes a marriage just cannot be saved. When this is the case, it’s best to not try to work on the marriage and instead prepare for divorce.
If you’re ready to file for divorce, Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer Edward J. Jennings, P.A. can help. We’ll guide you through the process. To schedule a consultation, fill out the online form or call our office at 954-764-4330.