What Steps Should I Take Before Divorce?
At Miller Law Group, P.C., we like to say that divorce doesn’t begin when you or your spouse files the paperwork. Divorce begins when either of you begins to think about getting divorced. The first step you should take if you or your spouse are considering divorce is to contact us so we can help you develop a clear plan from the get-go. Talking to your attorney about your goals and ideal outcomes is vital to planning a successful case. Strong attorney-client relationships are key to getting good outcomes.
Steps in a Massachusetts Divorce
First, make sure that you discuss how you can best protect your children.
- Where are they going to live once you and your spouse split?
- What are the daily routines going to be?
- Who is going to pick up and who’s going to drop off?
- How are you going to handle extracurricular activities?
Focus on the children.
Second, gather critical documents. Make copies of your tax returns, bank statements, retirement account statements, mortgage information, and any kind of compensation agreements to prepare for your divorce. If you anticipate an uncontested divorce, this will help you create a smoother divorce process. If you're anticipating a contested divorce, this will ensure that you have access to all the documents you need no matter what.
Next, set aside some emergency cash because you may have limited access to joint bank accounts once the process begins. To free up some extra money every month, stop contributing to retirement accounts or retirement plans at work temporarily. Finally, secure some credit. All of these steps will help protect your financial independence, which may be necessary even with amicable divorces.
Before divorce, you may also want to consider the following:
- Start collecting documentation on things like finances, properties, insurance, retirement plans, etc.
- Set aside things that you know you are the sole owner of (separate property).
- Monitor your interactions on social media. What you say about your spouse, whether direct or indirect, can come back to haunt you.
- Be wary of dating before your divorce is finalized, as this can affect the court’s opinion of your character.
- If you see divorce more as a possibility than a future reality, consider marital counseling before you take drastic measures.