You and your spouse have made the decision to get divorced. You may have spent months, or years even, contemplating the possibility before taking action. Or maybe your spouse approached you about divorce, taking you completely by surprise. Either scenario can leave you feeling overwhelmed, uncertain or frightened about your future. You can, however, take back a sense of control and stability by taking simple steps today to get prepared – even if you haven’t reached out to obtain legal counsel.
The best approach to getting started is simply to focus attention on finding and preparing for your first meeting with a local family law practice. So, instead of adding more stress by focusing on every little thing that must happen between now and when your divorce is finalized, simply prepare for your first meeting with an attorney and hand over the heavy lifting to them.
Make things easier on yourself and your attorney. Start by gathering the documents your lawyer will need:
W2s (for employees) or 1099s (for independent contractors)
Six months of bank statements
When compiling these documents, put them all in a single folder. It’s even better if you can scan them so that your attorney will have quality, digital copies. While you are at it, include any documents that pertain to disability insurance and retirement accounts. In addition to dividing your assets, you and your spouse will have to address the debt you accrued. Don’t spend time now worrying about how it will be resolved. That will be addressed later. However, this is a good time to initiate this part of the process by running a credit report on yourself.
Adopting the Right Mindset
There is nothing to gain from hiding anything. Complete disclosure of all your assets and expenditures is paramount. If it is discovered that you didn’t disclose assets or expenditures, you and your attorney will face an uphill battle because your credibility may be called into question.
Lastly, maintain the status quo financially and don’t make big purchases. There are several reasons for this. Think about it, if you were to purchase a car or a home now, will you actually own it? In other words, your spouse may justifiably claim that they are entitled to it as well because it was bought with shared money. Additionally, consider how it may look to the court. We have already discussed how you don’t want to damage your credibility—and making big purchases could make it appear as though you are liquidating assets.
View Ridge Family Law & Estate Planning
We understand the significant life change you are about to make and our goal is to support and assist you with excellence in service. From the first moment you reach out to us and speak with one of our helpful Intake Specialists to the moment your divorce is finalized with one of our exceptional Family Law Attorneys, we are focused on you and in driving an optimal outcome for you.
When you come to View Ridge, you will have a team on your side looking out for you. To get started, reach out to us to schedule your consultation with our Client Services Director, who will take the time to learn about you, gather all the important information needed to get started and help you navigate the initial steps to begin working with our firm.
We mentioned above some of the documents you should give to your attorney. You can access a more extensive list here. For more information about how we can help you with a family law matter, contact View Ridge Family Law & Estate Planning to schedule a consultation.