Making the decision to divorce your significant other is never an easy one. There’s a lot to think about and consider, but once you’ve made the decision, you’ll need to begin preparing the things you’ll need and have a plan heading forward.
Today, we’ll be discussing a few of the things you’ll need in order to be prepared to begin your divorce proceedings. Let’s jump right in.
Do you need to hire an attorney?
There isn’t a state in the union that requires you to hire an attorney to get divorced and depending on the temperature of your separation, you may not need one at all. There are several ways TO get divorced including mediation, DIY divorce services and even trial. Not all will require a lawyer.
However, if your divorce is more acrimonious and combative it’s probably a good idea. That, or if your combined assets are more complex in nature, attorneys not only serve as an advocate, but can help both you and your spouse navigate the realities of what you need to do.
One thing a lot of divorcees mention as being an unexpected surprise in divorce proceedings is the amount of paperwork involved. Make sure that you get a head start gathering agreements, licenses, life insurance policies, paperwork on shared accounts and assets as soon as you can. Trust us – you’re going to need them.
Complete your financial reporting
We can’t emphasize this enough – if you get caught lying on your financial docs, you’re going to get absolutely hammered in court. Divorces may require some sacrifices on the part of both parties, but at the end of the day – it’s impossible to determine what’s best for everyone if what’s on the table isn’t disclosed. Make sure you have everything accounted for from assets and debts to pay information, tax returns, retirement plans and security deposit boxes.
Begin setting up your own life
This is a whole post in and of itself, but begin to lay the groundwork for life on your own. YOu’ll need to open up your own bank account. You’ll need to set up a PO box or a new address to receive and send mail from. You’ll want a full, itemized list of your belongings and you may even need to begin searching for your own health insurance. If you’re heading out on your own – be ready to be on your own.
While there’s certainly more to consider, this will give you a good starting point as to what to consider first. If you are seeking help or would like to explore the options associated with mediation, give us a call today and we’ll be happy to provide you with a free consultation. Until then – good luck!