Ask a Lawyer: How Do I Prepare For Divorce?

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Rarely does divorce go smoothly. An amicable separation can quickly devolve into a giant mess even if it is an amicable breakup, agreed upon by both sides. One disagreement can soon unravel all proceedings, and what started as a mediation process can quickly turn into a situation that, if you’re not prepared, can leave you on the short end of a large stick. Situations like this are why you are better off hiring a divorce attorney from the start, because chances are, even if they say they want to avoid legal issues, they will have an attorney in their back pocket as well. However, before all of this, you may be wondering how to prepare for a divorce. After all, it’s not something you’re taught about in school or read about before marriage. If you’ve found yourself planning for such a situation, here is what you need to do.

How To Prepare For A Divorce – Some Expert Tips

Hire Your Attorney

One of the most critical steps in preparing for a divorce is to hire a divorce attorney. The sooner you hire one, the better. They can help you through all the other subsequent steps and assist you in what to do. As you’re reading through this page, you’re already on the right track. Continue looking over potential divorce attorneys to make sure you hire the right one for your needs, but don’t drag your feet too long. This is not a step you want to procrastinate.

Collect All Your Documents

It would help if you began collecting documentation on all your assets. Do so not only for all joint accounts but for all individual accounts as well. However, asset collection is not limited to bank accounts, investments, mortgage documents, or other obvious documentation. You need to collect documents for any copyrights you might own, paintings you have purchased in the past, or other valuables. Perhaps you wrote a book and placed a copyright on it. You need documentation on all of this. In this situation, there is no such thing as too much information. Your attorney can help you sort out what is necessary.

Documentation isn’t just for what you own. It’s for what you owe as well. Collecting documents on what you owe will provide a snapshot of debt. It will also help you out with any obligations your former spouse creates following the filing for a divorce. There have been times where individuals have gone out and made large purchases, believing that, at the very least, the cost of these purchases will be split when the debt is split. With proper documentation of all your debt, you will be able to avoid paying for these purchases (should such an event occur).

Of course, you’ll want to make copies of everything you hand over to the attorney, just in case you need a backup.

Open Individual Accounts

If you have a joint bank account (which you probably do), you’ll want to create an individual account. This way, you can have direct deposits from your line of work sent directly to your new account. It would help if you also did this with a credit card. Having your own credit card will allow you to make purchases without your spouse monitoring what you’re buying. It also helps you with crafting a new line of credit. Depending on the situation behind your marriage, your line of credit before marriage, and if you had any kind of credit in general, you may find your post-marriage credit rating isn’t as good as you’d like. By taking out your own credit card now, you can at least begin building up your credit score. This way, in the months (or longer) it takes for the divorce to finalize, you’ll be building your single credit report.

While you’re at it, it’s better to close joint accounts. You will need to do this together, and shutting down joint accounts on your own is not only challenging but might be frowned upon, especially if you don’t let your former spouse know about it.

Remain At Home

This is a common mistake several people make. They don’t want to live in an emotional environment that is less than ideal while going through a divorce. It makes sense. So, instead of dealing with all the drama, you move out of the house. The downside here is that moving out of a house can harm your case as it becomes easier for a judge to award the house to the individual living in the home. Unless there is a physical danger to yourself (or children) by staying in the home, it is highly recommended to remain and not move out.

Avoid Social Media

For starters, don’t go on social media blasts, telling the world about your spouse. Even if what you’re saying is true, you need to keep your divorce business to yourself. What you say and post can be used against you. Additionally, consider who you talk to carefully. It wouldn’t be the first time believing someone is a close friend, but they have sided with your former spouse in reality. So be on your best behavior and, if you need to talk and decompress with someone, consider hiring a therapist.

Protect Your Rights With the Right Lawyer

The failure to have a skilled attorney on your side during divorce proceedings could end up being one of the biggest mistakes in your life, and it’s not something you can do-over. Without an attorney at your side from the very beginning, you might find yourself with limited time with your children, all while losing out on your house, financial assets, and even your pet. To defend your rights and stand up for yourself during a divorce with the law firm of Wilson, Lackey, Rohr & Hall. It doesn’t matter how long you have been married or the cause of the dissolvement of your marriage; when it comes to protecting yourself, the sooner you contact Wilson, Lackey, Rorh & Hall, the better.