LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Brian Clay Knowlton | Jan 23, 2018

What You Need to Know Before Filing for a Divorce

Clearly, filing for divorce is a major life decision. First and foremost, become certain you want to file for divorce before you file for a divorce. Once filed, a divorce polarizes things quickly and it is rarely a step you can simply take back.

Have a plan before you file. Know where you intend to live, how you intend to live, and with whom you believe your children should live primarily.

Interview attorneys: your divorce attorney is going to lead you through one of the most difficult times in your life, so it is worth doing your research and ensuring that you have an experienced attorney, whose temperament is consistent with your tolerance for conflict, time, and budget. The heat will increase in these areas, so ensure your attorney is someone you can trust in difficult times. Gather financial documents. You do not have to organize them yet, but scan in and save documents that show the nature of the marital estate. Although there are mechanisms for us to gain access to documents within the litigation process, their availability without litigation can save time and money.

Please, please, please, think long and hard about your children. Their interest should be primary. This is going to be a life-changing event for them and whether you or they realize it, they are depending on you to help make the transition for them as smooth as possible. What is your plan concerning you children once the divorce is filed? And I mean the day of as well. Talk with your family and attorney to ensure the children are cared for.

And, very importantly, ensure you are caring for yourself. Prepare your support system, whatever that means for you. Have a financial plan. And, be prepared for surprises. A divorce can be complicated and trying. So, most importantly, do not do it alone. And lastly, if it is time, do not delay.

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