The U.S. sees 2.3 divorces per 1,000 population. Divorce is a complex process, and knowing where to start can be challenging. The truth is, many things can happen during a divorce, both good and bad, and they’re all things you need to plan for ahead of time. The more prepared you are before filing for divorce, the easier it will be for both of you after it’s finalized.
If you’re considering filing for divorce, you might have some questions about what happens next and what you should do before filing for divorce. We’ve compiled some things to remember before filing for divorce that may help you get started.
#1 Organize Your Documents
Before you file for divorce, it’s important to organize your documents.
First, make sure you have a list of all your financial accounts and their balances. Include details about any money owed or owed to you in these accounts.
Make sure you have copies of all the tax returns you and your spouse filed together during the marriage and all other tax documents related to the wedding (W-2s, 1099s, etc.). This will help you determine how much money (if any) each of you should receive in spousal support or alimony.
Get copies of any health insurance policies that cover both spouses and any life insurance policies on either spouse’s life (including those naming each other as beneficiaries). This information will be helpful if there are outstanding debts that need to be paid off or if one spouse needs to file for bankruptcy after the divorce is finalized.
Make sure both spouses have copies of all medical records related to their children, including immunization records and paediatrician visits, in case custody is disputed later on down the road.
#2 Seek the Best Legal Advice Available
When going through a divorce, it is vital to take every step to protect yourself and your family. This includes getting legal advice from someone with experience in family law cases.
While this may seem like an unnecessary expense, it is actually one of the most important things that you can do when divorcing. An experienced attorney will not only help you navigate the process, but they will also work to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the proceedings.
As per Forbes, the median cost of a divorce lawyer is around $7,000. Costs can climb as high as $20,000. Thus, ensure you get the service you deserve for paying such premium prices.
#3 See If You Can Settle for an Uncontested Divorce
Before you file for divorce, check if you can settle for an uncontested divorce.
If you agree on all of the issues in your divorce, such as property division and child custody, this kind of divorce is often easier to complete than a contested one. You can accomplish this by negotiating with your spouse or hiring a mediator to help you reach an agreement.
Local lawyers can handle uncontested divorces very well, meaning you don’t have to find yourself the best divorce attorney in the state or country.
For instance, suppose you’re from Brooklyn, New York, and going through a divorce. New York is one of the most expensive states in the U.S. for getting a divorce. Legal fees can cost you upwards of $13,000. However, you might not have to spend that much if you settle for an uncontested divorce.
Given that it is not a contested divorce, you can get in touch with a local uncontested divorce lawyer in Brooklyn to help you settle on an agreement before the separation. These divorce cases don’t take a lot of time or effort, which is why attorneys are also eager to take them on without any hesitation. Besides, it’s a much cheaper legal option for divorce, and you don’t have to spend over $10,000 on your attorney.
#4 Focus on Your Children
If you’re filing for divorce, the most important thing you can do is focus on your children.
You may feel like you want to leave your marriage and move on, but it’s important to remember that your children are also going through a significant change. They need stability and consistency as they adapt to their new living situation.
They will want to know what will happen to them and how they can stay in contact with their parents. Make sure you’re prepared for these questions and have answers ready for them.
#5 Make Sure You Have Sufficient Financial Resources
The last thing you want to do is wait until the last minute and then realize that you don’t have enough money to support yourself for the three months it will take for your divorce to be finalized. Make sure you have three months of financial resources before you file for divorce so that you don’t find yourself in a difficult situation later on.
World Population Review suggests that 50 per cent of all U.S. marriages will end in divorce. Separating from your loved one is never easy, but it can be necessary. If you’re considering filing for divorce, knowing what will happen next and how you can protect yourself and your children is essential.
Keeping the tips mentioned above in mind can help you out with that.