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Five Important Things You Need to do in Preparing for Divorce

  Today marks the beginning of my blogging. Having nearly 20 years’ legal experience, I have much to share. My title for today’s blog is: “Five Important Things You Need to do in Preparing for Divorce”.

(1)   Decide for yourself that Divorce is the answer. Whether to seek a Divorce is ultimately a decision that only you can make. Sometimes in my practice, I see clients being pressured by family and friends to get a Divorce. Only you can decide if the marriage is worth saving. Marriage counseling can work in certain situations, I have seen my share of couples forego finalizing a Divorce after counseling. Also, an added benefit of counseling is that even if it doesn’t help save your marriage, it could help with communication between you and your spouse in the future.

(2)  Start to prepare yourself financially for a Divorce. Save money. Set aside money into a separate account that only you have access to. It will help you meet day to day expenses when you separate. This will also help you to retain an attorney for the Divorce. Please note- you will probably later have to produce records with regards to this separate account and it could be subject to division in the divorce, but it will help you at the beginning.  Before you file for a Divorce, do not go out and make any huge purchases and don’t sign on for your spouse to do so.  In a Divorce the Courts will divide both property and debts and often you could end up owing money on property that you want to keep. Also, now is a good time to pay off any debts that you can pay off.    

(3)   Start preparing emotionally for a Divorce.  Divorce is hard. It is good to have a support group of family and friends to help get you through.  Sometimes your support group will also be potential witnesses at Court if there are contested issues such as custody of children or property division. Talk to your support group about what they have seen during the marriage, your support group can be a wealth of knowledge. Also, if there are children of the marriage now is a good time to make sure their emotional well-being is looked after. Counseling for the children may be a good idea to help them have someone to talk to when the Divorce process starts. 

(4)   Gather information.  While you’re married, it is sometimes easier to obtain financial documents from your spouse. Make copies of tax returns, bank statements, retirement accounts, and other financial documents. Also, if you have photographs, text messages, emails that may be needed for contested issues make sure these documents are secure.  I have seen these items go missing in cases in which the other spouse stumbles upon them. Also, start to keep a journal of important events that happened in the marriage. That way your attorney has something to look back on. 

(5)  Watch what you say and do.  Don’t do anything that you don’t want to come out in Court. Don’t text ugly messages to your spouse, don’t carry on an affair, don’t do drugs, don’t say or do things that could hurt your case.  Evidence of bad acts can be used against you. If you have engaged in any such behavior make sure that you let your attorney know. That way they can help better guide you.        

 

Please stay tuned for more blogs to come. I do welcome comments on topics that you would like covered in the future.             

© 2016 Law Office of Bridget R. O'Brien. All Rights Reserved.

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