utahdivorceattorneyDecember 8, 2021
10 Things to do Before You File for a Divorce
1. Never Threaten to Divorce Until You Are Ready To File
By doing this your partner may start divorce-planning by moving assets, positioning themselves with the children, or hiring an attorney. This could hurt you and/or your partner. Take your time to plan things carefully and then file for divorce when you have your affairs in order.
2. Organize Your Documents
Being organized and efficient will save you money. If you hand over a bunch of messy documents, files, and personal information, your attorney will have to spend more time organizing all that information. This of course means more money to your attorney. Gather every important document that you can find and make copies of each. Look for your past tax returns, bank statements, check registers, investment statements, retirement account statements, employee benefits handbooks, life insurance policies, mortgage documents, financial statements, credit card statements, family trusts, Social Security statements, stock grants, automobile titles, among other documents. If your spouse is self-employed, it is essential to gather as much information as possible about the finances of his or her business. Make copies of any useful financial information stored on your home computer or lying around the house.
3. Make your Children the Focus
Divorce has a major impact divorce has on children, so we advise that you be measured regarding the decisions you make and your behavior throughout the process.Do not involve the children in the battle. Do not talk badly about the other spouse in front of your children, and do not ask them to take sides. It is not fair and will create emotional problems for them. If you are balanced and together, your children will be as well. Plan how you expect to divide the parenting time with the other parent. We can advise on the nuances of raising healthy children through the divorce process.
4. Make Sure You Have Three Months of Financial Resources
Make sure that you have sufficient funds saved to pay for your expenses ideally for at least three months if you are the spouse with limited access to financial resources. Many spouses become spiteful when the divorce starts and may cut you off financially. Although your attorneys can get you financial support, it will take time to do so.
5. Obtain the Best Legal Advice You Can Get
This is not the time to cut corners or to trust everything your spouse tells you. It’s wise to ask friends or family for recommendations. Do your research and read reviews. Research whether your attorney has the skills and reputation to assist you in the divorce. It is critical to have the best representation during this tough time in your life. You should be immediately suspicious if your spouse advises you not to seek legal counsel.
6. Make Sure You Have Available Credit
Apply for your own credit card because your spouse may cut access to your credit card when you file for divorce. Having available credit will allow you to pay for things while your attorneys work to get court orders concerning temporary financial support.
7. Have a Safety Plan If There Is Any History or Risk Of Domestic Violence
Of course we hope it doesn’t happen but violence can escalate when you leave your spouse. However, don’t be encouraged to file a protection order unless it is really necessary. Cases that start out with the filing of a protection order excluding your spouse from the home and children often turn out to be some of the most highly contested cases. Using this as a weapon can sometimes cost you in the long run. Every decision in a divorce will have long-lasting ramifications on your life so you must be sure to obtain the best representation and advice possible. We can help guide you through this thicket of problems.
8. Possession Is 9/10th’s of the Law
Possession can be nine-tenths of the law as to the custody of children. Unless there is a good reason to separate quickly, it is much smarter to remain with possession of the children until you work out a temporary parenting plan. Make sure that you know the children’s teachers, counselors, doctors, and other professionals. The last thing you want is to have the school teacher tell an evaluator that they do not know what you look like and have never met you.
9. Surround Yourself With Supportive Family And Friends
You will need all the help and support you can get. We advise you consider seeing a therapist during and after the divorce.
10. Try to Remain Civil And Treat Your Spouse With Respect
You may have to attend weddings, graduations, and funerals with them in the future. Avoid making statements in anger. Never send emails or text messages when you are angry or upset. These will come back to haunt you in the divorce proceedings. Remember that this will be a tough experience, but you will get through it and will become empowered in the process.