Divorce in marriages is a sad reality that can happen very often in that institution. In fact, the incidence of divorce has increased over the years. Divorce is an enormous work that takes too much money, time, and effort to accomplish. These proceedings are often very stressful and emotionally exhausting. When marriages end, it’s the children who suffer the most. When divorcing parents fight for child custody, children are emotionally distressed.
The emotional impact of divorce is such that it makes it difficult for spouses to understand the intricacies of the process. It is, therefore, imperative that you seek advice and guidance from a divorce attorney Stuart to better understand the implications and the legal process of a divorce.
However, there are certain things you must do before you file for divorce. We will discuss some very useful things you must do before filing a divorce petition.
Appoint an Attorney
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The decision to get divorced is an emotional one and shouldn’t be taken when you are feeling too stressed out and overly emotional. Make sure you have explored all options of reconciliation. But once you have made the decision, the first thing to do is consult an attorney. You should not choose the first attorney you meet. Instead, shortlist a few attorneys from various directories and local bar association or websites of lawyers and law firms who specialize in family law. Most of them offer free first consultation. Discuss your case with them and what you expect. Avoid those who promise too much even before listening to the facts and merits of the case. Then make your choice based on your understanding and also consider the fee they charge, whether you can afford one.
Gather Financial Documents
Divorce cases involve a lot of documentation. Your bank accounts, investments, mortgages, real estate, and all other assets will be scrutinized during the proceedings. Gather as many financial documents as possible as all of them are going to come handy. If you have a joint investment or a shared online account with your spouse, make sure you obtain a record of them as well. Nobody likes to be served a divorce notice, so getting access to important documents, later on, may not be easy. So keep all important financial documents ready before filing for divorce.
Also, if you have joint accounts or credit cards, consult your attorney what to do about them, whether to close them or leave them the same. You don’t want to be in a situation where your spouse exhausts the account or run up huge bills on the credit card. In either case, it will take a significant amount of time to sort things out. So it’s better to take advice from your divorce attorney Stuart on what course of action to take.
Make Necessary Transactions
Once a divorce petition is filed, the first thing the judge does is to prohibit you and your spouse from buying, selling or otherwise constraining or disposing off any marital property. This is done to prevent either spouse from draining the bank accounts or dissolving any marital property out of vengeance.
So if you have been planning to upgrade to a new car or, for instance, planning to sell a property, you must do so before filing for divorce, because once you file for divorce you will not be allowed to do so. Though it’s not right to take out all the money from your bank account as it may backfire, any legitimate transaction that has been pending should be completed before filing for divorce.
Determine Your Child Custody Goals
If you have children, whether you want to have their custody or not is a crucial decision. Except under extreme situations, both parents get shared custody of their children. If you get the custody of your children, you have to be ready with a plan on how you would take care of them. So it’s a good idea to plan everything in advance-your work schedule, your children’s academic and co-curricular schedule, and your other obligation and how you plan to balance all the roles.
Figure Out Your Living Situation
The living situation changes once a divorce petition is filed. Whether you want to continue living with your spouse in the same house during the divorce or you want to live separately, is an important decision. If you want to live separately during the divorce, then who shall move out? Decide what you really want. How you cope up with the living situation during the days prior to the divorce has a serious bearing on your chances of staying in the marital residence during the divorce. Work out a proper plan of how you want to sort out the living issue.
The above-mentioned things are the most important divorce useful tips for you, as they have a significant bearing on the proceedings. However, it is always advisable that you consult your divorce attorney Stuart about what else needs to be done before filing for divorce.