Preparing for Your Divorce Case

If you are considering a divorce, you likely have been thinking about the idea for quite some time. In many cases, you may have considered your finances, your children, and what life would look like following a separation from your spouse. However, there are fundamental aspects of a divorce and the life following a divorce that many people never consider. While divorce is common in the United States, those going through a divorce often feel stressed, overwhelmed, and fearful of what their lives will look like. The decisions a person makes prior to divorce can significantly impact the actual divorce and that person’s life following it. While divorce is never an enjoyable experience for any party involved, taking these steps before you file for a divorce can ensure that you have the healthiest divorce possible.

Take Time to be Absolutely Certain

All marriages have challenges and difficult times. Some marriages are harder than others, and some face substantial issues. Spouses will never agree on every single issue throughout their marriage. In some cases, tempers can flare, and words are said that are hurtful or painful. In other cases, a spouse is found gambling or cheating which can lead to uncertainty and a lack of trust. Every person will need to make the decision whether or not to divorce for themselves. However, if you are considering making that decision then you should make sure to be absolutely certain prior to discussing this with your spouse, or having your spouse served with divorce related lawsuit. Serving a spouse with lawsuit can draw a line in the sand from which there is no return. If there was a possibility to salvage the marriage, it may be gone after one spouse initiates a lawsuit, as the other spouse often feels anger and resentment. Before you make that final decision to file for divorce or related claims, make sure you have gone through every option you are comfortable with including visiting with a pastor or mental health counselor or therapist. If you feel that you have done everything you can do, and still feel certain, then you should begin considering your action plan before beginning the divorce process as well so that you have a solid understanding of how your divorce will proceed.

Take Time to Analyze Your Financial Situation

Before you initiate a lawsuit for divorce related claims, you should take the time to carefully analyze and examine your financial situation. Do you know where all of your bank accounts are? Do you know how much you have in retirement savings accounts? Do you know the pension benefits of you or your spouse? Do you have any money or assets in a safety deposit box? Do you have any sentimental items that are worth a substantial amount of money? Do you have any investments or real estate holdings? You should take the time before things get challenging following the filing of lawsuit to examine all of your marital debts and assets. Additionally, if you own any separate accounts, you should consider changing all of your passwords now, prior to filing for divorce related claims. Understanding your financial situation now will help you better understand how you can be financially prepared for your future.

Take Time to Determine Your Child Custody Preferences

Your children are your priority. They will be affected by a divorce, however, your time with them will also be impacted significantly. Consider what types of child custody arrangements you would be happiest with, and whether or not you will need to have child support from your spouse. In most circumstances, a family law judge will ensure the best interest of the child is always protected, and therefore, in all cases where it is possible, they will attempt to provide joint legal and physical custody of the children to both parents.

Consider Your New Living Arrangements

It is important to note that if it is at all possible, you should never leave the marital home prior to a final judgment from the divorce court, or a final executed agreement between you and your spouse. If you make the decision to leave the marital home, there will be more of a challenge to have it awarded to you in a divorce settlement. Obviously, if you or your children are being threatened or harmed in any way, you should leave immediately and find shelter or safety, and contact the police, if necessary.

Contact an Experienced Divorce Attorney

If you are considering a divorce in Charlotte, North Carolina, one of the most important steps you can take prior to filing for divorce is to contact an experienced family law attorney at Arnold & Smith, PLLC at 704.370.2828 or online for your initial consultation. We can help you understand your legal rights and help you with your next steps in the divorce process.