While no couple sets out on the journey of marriage anticipating a divorce, the reality is that not all marriages will last. When it is clear that you can no longer remain married to your spouse, it is critical that you get your affairs in order before initiating a divorce.
Five of the most important things to do before seeking a divorce include:
- Prepare a Financial Statement to Outline Your Assets and Debts
In a divorce proceeding, the court will divide assets and debts that were acquired from the date of the marriage until the date of separation. Personal gifts and inheritances that were acquired during the marriage may remain separate property. Property acquired before the marriage may remain separate and needs to be accounted for. Everything else must be divided between both parties.
It is crucial to know the exact amount of these assets and debts to ensure a proper and fair distribution. It is not necessary to have an accountant prepare a detailed financial statement, but a comprehensive list of all of the assets and debts will help. Make sure property that was acquired before the marriage remains separate. Additionally, it is essential to know how much income your spouse earns so child and spousal support can be accurately determined.
If you have children, you will most likely be required to share custody. Before filing for a divorce, consider a custody schedule that would be in the best interest of your child. Carefully analyze your work schedules and other obligations to make this determination before filing for divorce to minimize the impact on your children.
Try to reach an agreement with your spouse before the divorce process begins. Custody disputes can draw out the proceedings, increasing the cost and putting significantly more emotional stress on you and your family.
- Consider Your Living Situation
Do not automatically move out of your residence just because you are filing for divorce. Doing so could adversely affect your chances of keeping your home. Discuss your options with an experienced attorney before moving out of your home.
- Limit Your Use of Social Media
Be careful about what you put on social media. Anything that you post could be used against you in the divorce proceedings, so try to limit your activity on social media before and during the divorce process. Negative posts, complaining about your soon-to-be-ex, or excessive partying and irresponsible behavior could all be exploited or taken out of context in a contentious divorce battle. For these reasons, it is a good idea to refrain from posting as much as possible.
Divorces are rarely simple matters. When property, money, and the custody of children are involved, things can get complicated and are often emotionally charged. That’s why it is crucial to hire a qualified attorney with experience handling divorce cases to help you navigate this often-complicated process.
Before you initiate a divorce, contact the experienced Shelby family lawyers of Teddy, Meekins & Talbert, P.L.L.C., to get the legal support and counsel that you need on your side. We are here to help ease the stress on you and make sure that your interests are represented throughout the entire process, from start to finish.
To schedule a consultation with a compassionate, knowledgeable member of our team, call us or contact us online today.
A native of Lincoln County, Meredith A Shuford is proud to work for the people in the community where she was raised and has chosen to raise her family. Ms. Shuford’s desire to assist those in crisis is paramount to her decision to focus on family law.