Jumping head-first into your divorce proceedings without advanced preparation is not the best idea. If you want to be ready for what’s to come in the best way possible — and not get blindsided by unfortunate surprises — there are a few things you might want to do before filing your divorce papers. You might even want to do these things before discussing the wish to divorce with your spouse.
Here are two things to do before you file for a divorce:
Hire a divorce lawyer
A divorce lawyer will advise you about what to expect and how you should best prepare for your divorce process. He or she will also explain your legal rights, which will help you understand what you can and cannot ask for during the divorce. Your lawyer will also give you valuable perspective about where you’ll likely stand in terms of child custody, child support, spousal support and other vital issues. Having this knowledge will help you navigate your divorce in the most peaceful and cost-effective fashion.
Figure out your personal and family finances
There are two things you want to understand about finances before you divorce. First, what kinds of assets and liabilities fall under your marital estate and what are any tax liabilities that may apply to them? Secondly, what are your personal assets and income generation abilities like? Knowing these two things will help you stand up for your marital property rights, and also predict what financial limitations you’ll face in your post-divorce life.
There are many more things you can do to protect yourself before filing for divorce, but these are excellent first steps. A qualified divorce attorney can provide more ideas to help you preserve your property division and marital rights during your divorce process.