Planning and Preparing For Divorce
Couples typically never contemplate the idea that their spouse, the person they once loved so dearly, could now seem like such a stranger, or even a threat. If you are planning for a divorce there are certain things you can do to help you prepare.
One such thing you can do to prepare is to establish your own credit. You can do this by obtaining a credit card in your name alone. This will help you later qualify for loans in the future when you are on your own.
Another important step is to obtain financial records. You should make copies of bank statements, retirement account statements, land purchases, tax records, and the like. You want to have a clear picture of the financial landscape of your marriage. All of these documents will be needed for the distribution of marital assets and it is much easier if you have them at the outset.
It is also generally advisable not to leave the marital residence. In a case where custody of the children may be an issue, leaving the marital residence may impair your ability to obtain custody. If you leave the marital home and leave the children behind, the court may find that the status quo has been set and will not disturb it. Of course, only a lawyer can advise you how you should handle your specific situation. Thus, before you make any emotional decisions, consult a divorce lawyer to see if moving out before the divorce will impact you and your case.
Speaking of an attorney, perhaps the most important planning tip is to speak with an attorney as early as possible. While the above steps may work in most cases, it is important to remember that each case is different and requires careful consideration of all the facts. This is where an experienced divorce lawyer becomes critical. An attorney can help you avoid mistakes that could hurt you later in a divorce proceeding. In fact, this should often be your first step. In most cases, the only thing you need to start a divorce is a pen to sign the papers. Rarely do clients have to do anything before the divorce is filed. Furthermore, waiting to file for divorce can be very detrimental to your case. This is why it is important to discuss everything with an attorney at the earliest possible time to avoid making any mistakes.
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