Deciding to file for a divorce can be both stressful and complicated. Many emotions and considerations factor into the decision. Divorce is a serious matter. That is why at Miller Law Group, we feel you should be well prepared for the journey it takes to end a marriage. Here are some steps and ideas to consider before you file for divorce.
Consider Marital Counseling
If you are not whole-heartedly sure about your divorce, try counseling first. There is a lot of time, money and pain that goes into divorcing. If it’s still just a possibility, then see if you can heal the relationship.
Hire an Attorney Well Versed in Divorce Laws
If divorce is imminent, it is imperative that you hire a good attorney who spends all of his or her time focused on domestic relations law. Divorce proceedings can be complicated and messy. You want an attorney who focuses primarily on divorce and family law. You also want to make sure that you trust your attorney. You want to feel comfortable enough with him or her to be able to call at any time of the day. Your attorney should make your case his or her top priority.
Know Your Financial Standing
Before filing for divorce, you want to make sure you know exactly what you and your spouse’s finances look like. Look at your joint accounts. Make sure you know exactly what splitting the money will look like. You should categorize how much each of you makes, how much is in your account/s and how much belongs to each of you. Some things that are easily forgotten, but important to remember, are pieces of art, pension plans and inheritances. Keeping track of what you are sole owner of can mitigate mix-ups.
Gather Income and Financial Records
Before filing for divorce, gather copies of your financial records, bank records, retirement account information and tax files. Store them in a safe place. It is imperative to know exactly what each party earns and has in terms of money and assets. Hard numbers and facts are crucial for making sure your divorce goes smoothly.
Make a Budget for After Your Divorce
Dealing with divorce can be all-encompassing, and looking to the future can be neglected. It is important to make a plan for what your budget will look like once the split is finalized. Be honest about what your earning potential will be once you are single. Map out the budget you will need to maintain to keep the quality of life with which you are comfortable. Remember, once you are separated, the same amount of money will be spread between two households.
Establish Finances and Credit for Yourself
You need solid credit to purchase things like homes and cars. Joint credit might be helpful during a marriage, but afterward it can hurt you. Make sure to build good credit under your own name. You can start this by acquiring a credit card and making prompt payments on it. You want to make sure you are smart about credit because bad credit can hurt you as much as not having it.
You should also consider opening an account solely under your name. It will be helpful to have money that only you can access, especially if the divorce proceedings get messy and you do not trust your spouse.
Keep a Clean Reputation
Some divorce cases can get ugly. It is imperative that you are aware of the things you post on social media and the way you act in public, so as not to draw negative attention to yourself. You do not want to post derogatory statements about spouses on social media or start dating until a divorce has been finalized. These factors can make an impression on the court and can skew their judgment.
Prioritize Your Children
You want to make sure your children remain your top priority. Discuss what you are planning and what they can expect to help prepare them for the transition. They may feel neglected or confused about what is going on. Make sure they get attention and that their needs and well-being are upheld.
It is important to know just what you are getting yourself into when filing for divorce. Familiarize yourself with laws about divorce. Courts and judges interpret the statutes differently. Make sure you and your attorney are familiar with the local courts and judges. Even the simplest matter in Hillsborough County may be handled differently in Rockingham County; and the way one judge handles something in Nashua could be handled in a completely opposite fashion in the Goffstown, Manchester, Merrimack or Nashua family courts.
If divorce is something you are sure you want to pursue, call us at Pollack Law Group, P.C. Our divorce attorneys are well versed in family law and have extensive experience handling divorce cases. We represent individuals throughout Massachusetts.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation!