The decision to end a marriage with a divorce is never an easy decision. There is often a significant amount of emotional pain involved in the separation, and matters are only made worse by the legal paperwork needed and the reaction of the spouse, along with potential financial worries related to what may come of the separation and court rulings thereafter. Expenses for attorney representation are another concern, but what’s of most importance is hiring good representation to ensure that you have a fair chance at getting what you deserve out of the divorce proceedings. While many couples out of desperation immediately jump the gun to filing the paperwork needed for a divorce, there are several preparations you should take into consideration and make before even beginning the filing process.
Hire an Attorney
The first and most important step is to hire an attorney as soon as possible. A reputable attorney with a strong record of success and knowledge of the court system is critical and can mean the difference between getting what’s rightfully yours out of a divorce and getting nothing. An attorney will work for you to ensure all assets, property, and child custody to which you are rightfully entitled is attained. They will act as a mediator with your spouse’s attorney, keeping you out of the spotlight and out of the crossfire. A professional attorney will further ensure your divorce proceedings are conducted in a professional and legal manner, and that all the necessary documents are written and filed correctly. Finally, a good attorney will help you make the right decisions for your case when making those decisions may seem impossible due to the emotions that may cloud your judgment during what are often difficult times.
Talk With Your Spouse
Except in extreme circumstances that may make it difficult or impossible to effectively communicate with your spouse, talking with your spouse prior to filing can be an important step forward for the both of you. If the divorce decision is mutual, often times coming to an agreement about the distribution of things such as assets and how child custody will be handled are substantially easier and may require little intervention. Speaking to your spouse always comes second to hiring an attorney. There are certain situations where speaking to your spouse could be a very bad idea, but your attorney can help you discover whether or not that is the case. Some things to discuss with your spouse may include, but are not limited to:
- Who will live in the home, if you are still sharing one, and how the asset, if it is a home, will be divided.
- How you two will fairly divide your assets to mutual satisfaction.
- How will custody of the child or children be shared, or will one partner take full custody.
- Discuss child support, and whether one partner will seek to collect it from the other.
Talking with your spouse is a great way to avoid some battles in the courtroom that could hurt both of you and be counterproductive to the two of you getting what you want out of the divorce. Still, always consult with your attorney to see if this is a good idea or not.
An important step in getting what you want out of a divorce is knowing just that; what do you actually want out of the divorce? Consider such things as where you expect or want to be living in the future, what assets do you feel are rightfully yours, how will child custody be handled if applicable, and how will you maintain your livelihood following the divorce. Knowing what it is that you want out of a divorce is a great way to approach the divorce logically without letting your emotions get in the way. Often times, this is one of the first steps an attorney will recommend and help you organize before you get started with filing. It’s crucial to know the direction you are heading so that you can avoid any missteps that will take you away from what it is that you actually want out of the divorce.
Get Your Finances in Order
Separating from your spouse should begin with separation of finances. Get a new banking account as soon as possible and start saving money for any obstacles you may encounter along the way. Make sure you gather credit card statements, bank records, tax documents, records of mortgage and vehicle payments, records of any debts either or both of you have, and anything else that may benefit your case or need to be taken account of when you go to court. Your attorney will help you with what documents you may need and will ask questions to discover additional items you may want to gather to benefit your case and get you the results that you want.
The evidence you can gather to benefit your case is unique in every situation, but your attorney will be able to advise you on possibilities. If you have an abusive spouse, either to yourself or to your children, evidence such as medical records or police reports will do you a lot of good in court. Cases involving an unfaithful spouse often end more favorably for their partner, so this is another consideration to make when gathering evidence.
Life after Separation
Finally, a good step in preparing for divorce is preparing for what comes next. There are a lot of things to consider, such as where you will work and live. In most cases, it is better not to attain a new source of income until after the divorce is finalized, but depending on your case and need of income, this may be different. No matter what, it is important to know how you will survive following the conclusion of the separation and divorce proceedings.
The attorneys at Webb & Bordson Law Group have years of experience in family law and are happy to serve you in answering your questions and concerns regarding representation in divorce proceedings. Call the WB Law Group at (619) 399-7700 (San Diego) or (559) 431-4888 (Fresno). You can also send an email to Office@WebbLawGroup.com for more information.
Divorce proceedings can be painful, but you don’t have to go it alone. Contact Webb & Bordson Law Group today!