Preparing for Divorce: What You Need To Do
Getting a legal divorce is not a quick task. After deciding that you want to end your marriage, there are multiple steps you must take on the road to being officially divorced. Some steps are important for protecting your interests, while other steps are to ensure your mental health is taken care of. Let’s go over what should do when preparing for divorce.
1. Hire an Attorney
Finding the right attorney is one of the most important parts of divorce preparation. This person or team will be helping you throughout one of the most challenging experiences of your life; you want to make sure that you are comfortable with them. It’s also important to note that, ideally, you should contact a divorce attorney even if you are just contemplating divorce. They can then provide you with your available options and guidance on how to proceed.
When looking for the right divorce attorney for your needs:
- Do online research, read reviews, look at their websites and specialties
- Ask friends and family for recommendations
- Set up consultations to meet with them
- Know your budget so you don’t hire an attorney you can’t afford
2. Organize Your Paperwork
Organizing paperwork is especially important when it comes time for asset division.
You will want to collect all financial documents, including:
- Employment records
- Bank statements
- Loan information
- Debt records
- Wills and trusts
- Retirement/pension account documents
Doing this will also help you create a budget, as you will be able to see what money you have available to spend.
In addition to financial paperwork, you should collect personal documents like social security numbers, prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, insurance policies, or any past legal documents involving you or your spouse.
3. Take Stock of Your Assets
The property you and your spouse have will either be considered separate or community property. Separate property is anything you purchased before the marriage to which you have sole ownership or rights. Community property is things purchased together during the marriage. A common example of community property is the family home.
While taking stock of your assets, think about what assets have the most value to you, that you definitely want to keep after the divorce, and what you are willing to sacrifice. It’s always a good idea to have an idea of what you want before going into negotiations.
4. Freeze Joint Accounts
You never want to believe that your spouse would want to hurt you, even during a divorce. Unfortunately, it does happen during contentious divorces. Some scorned spouses may secretly empty joint accounts, leaving the other spouse with nothing. Freezing your joint accounts can protect you in case this happens.
Ideally, you should open your own savings account and immediately begin putting all of your personal funds in that account.
5. Be Prepared to Feel A Range of Emotions
Divorce is an emotional process; you’ll probably feel sadness, loneliness, happiness, comfort, anxiety, anger, and more emotions all at different times. In fact, the way that you feel about your divorce could change daily. Give yourself the grace to feel all different types of emotions during and after your divorce.
6. Seek Support
While working through all of the logistics of divorce, you will benefit from having emotional support. Some people choose to self-isolate when they feel upset and fear being a burden to those around them. This is not true. Your family and friends care about you and will want to give you the support you need during this difficult time.
7. Remember You Aren’t Alone
When going through a divorce, it can feel like you’re the only person in the world who understands. However, over 2 million people get divorced each year in America. If you feel scared, remember that you will get through this tough time and come out happier in the end.
Eastern Nebraska Divorce Attorneys
If you are contemplating getting divorced, or have recently filed for divorce, contact our team of attorneys at Reagan, Melton & Delaney, L.L.P.. We are passionate advocates for our clients and want to help you through the divorce process. Call us today at (402) 226-1899 to get started with a free, confidential consultation.