Divorce Checklist: Things to do Before Filing
Are you thinking about filing for a divorce? Filing a divorce is not only emotionally and physically exhausting; it can be logistically tedious and legally complicated, too. Before you file, take the time to make sure that you are adequately prepared for the legal process ahead of you – rash decisions lead to volatile family and legal situations. Take your time, be prepared. First, make sure that you are in control. This doesn’t mean you’re in control of the situation; depending on the circumstances surrounding the termination of your marriage, you may feel completely out of control. Make sure that you are in control of yourself and your circumstances to the best of your ability. Divorce may be one of the most stressful events in your life, but you can handle it with a little discernment and a level head.
Before you file, find a good attorney. Hiring a trustworthy lawyer not only gives you the legal assistance you need to understand the legal process, but gives you peace of mind about the future and can help you feel more comfortable with your current situation. Make sure you find a lawyer that is ready to help you in your specific situation. Some attorneys specialize in helping spouses initiating the divorce; others have more experienced helping recipients of the termination. Your attorney should be sympathetic towards your circumstances, have a vast understanding of your situation and be able to aggressively defend your rights in the courtroom. Additionally, make sure that your health is taken care of. The emotional and psychological stress of terminating your marriage may affect your physical health. Don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about it and make sure that you are taken care of.
Before you officially file, gather any important documents that may be used during the divorce proceedings. Talk to your attorney to figure what paper work you need collect. This might include paychecks, joint account information, credit card statements in your name, etc. Also, make sure that you begin saving money – divorce can be expensive. Don’t over-spend. Also, get your own health insurance. In some states, obtaining separate health insurance while you are still married might be difficult, but it is in your best interest to check. Finally, focus on your children. Before you file, make sure that your children’s emotional and physical health is taken care of; they will feel the stress of the divorce proceedings, too. Also, write down how much money you spend on your children, how much time you spend with them, etc. These details may be important during a child custody or visitation dispute.