Although you do not need an attorney for a divorce, it is recommended that you at least have a consultation with one. It is important to learn, in advance, the issues you will face, the standards to apply to determine these cases as well as potential or likely outcomes. Only an experienced matrimonial attorney can give you guidance regarding these preliminary questions.
An important part of the divorce is the division of assets and debts. It is helpful to have a bank account, retirement account, and credit card statements for both parties before beginning the process. I would also recommend gathering 5 years of income tax returns. You will need to exchange these documents throughout the divorce case and it is best to have them in advance.
More than 99% of all divorce cases settled by agreement. I would recommend you try to sit down with your spouse, while emotions and tensions are low, and see what issues can be resolved before even beginning litigation. In many of my case, I try to settle all the issues before I file a divorce complaint because it keeps legal fees down and you can work on your own time frame.
Meet with an accountant and financial advisor
There are many long financial decisions that you will have to make. Whether or not and how long you either need or will be paying alimony, what will remain in your retirement accounts and what our long-term costs for your child support and college contributions. It is highly recommended you speak to experts in the specific areas to ensure you are fully familiar with potential outcomes.
Additional resources provided by the author
You can read about this issue and many others on my blog: www.njdivorceattorney.net