For some people, starting your divorce means finding a family law attorney and making an appointment. For others, the starting point came as they gathered necessary information to file paperwork. For still others, the start of their divorce is the day they realize they have no interest in continuing the marriage. No matter which of these categories you fall into, there are certain things you need to do when you decide to file for divorce.
Even if you and your spouse agree that divorce is necessary and you want to file an amicable divorce, you may still want to hire an attorney. This is especially true if your spouse hires one. You don’t want to be caught off-guard by any tactics that lawyer may attempt. Hiring a lawyer together is a possibility if you just want someone to check the settlement for your amicable divorce.
If you don’t think you will be able to file an amicable divorce, you should find an attorney as soon as possible. Ask friends and family for recommendations or contact your state’s bar association for a list of family law attorneys in your area. Make an appointment with a few of them to see which one would be the best fit for your needs. Many attorneys offer free initial consultations.
As soon as you think a divorce is imminent, you should start gathering the information you need to file. This includes all financial information for you and your spouse, such as pay stubs and income tax returns. Make a list of all assets and debt that you have and begin to consider what you want from the marriage. Gather information about your children, such as birthdays and Social Security numbers.
It may take several days to gather everything you need. Make copies of everything you find and put them in a safe place. If you are concerned about your spouse finding the copies, consider keeping them at a friend’s house until you can take them to your attorney.
Choosing to divorce is never easy, even if you have been unhappy for a long time. Once you decide to start a divorce, how you proceed depends on several things, such as whether your spouse agrees that you need to end the marriage or plans to fight you. If you both believe it is time to end the marriage, an amicable divorce is the best option and you can start your divorce together.
If you are currently involved in a divorce and require legal guidance, before you spend thousands of dollars in legal fees, check out our free 7-Day “Divorce 101” course. Sign up below and you’ll immediately start receiving tips and guidance you can use to minimize the pain and time required to get through the divorce process.