The Planning Process Before You File for Divorce in North Carolina

Many spouses believe that the divorce process only begins when you file your divorce papers. The truth is that you can start planning and taking the necessary steps long before you file your divorce papers. The pre-planning stage is absolutely critical. By getting your affairs in order before you file for divorce, you ensure that you are entirely ready to go as soon as the process is set in motion. This makes the entire divorce more organized and efficient, and it can help you achieve a positive legal outcome. 

The first step should always involve ensuring your own safety. If you are dealing with a dangerous marriage and home environment, you need to get out as quickly as possible. Next, you should connect with a qualified divorce attorney in North Carolina. Once you start working with our legal professionals, you can start planning your next moves. When you are ready, you can then file for divorce and get the ball rolling. 

Your Safety is the First Concern

Although not all spouses deal with threats to their personal safety, it is a legitimate concern for some. Before you file for divorce, you should always take steps to protect yourself and your children. In some situations, spouses may threaten their partners if they ever try to leave or divorce. If you are genuinely concerned about your safety, a few options are available to you. First of all, you can dial 9-11 if the threat is imminent. Secondly, you can file a restraining order against your spouse and get your children to safety. 

Another option is a divorce from bed and board, which allows you to live separately from your spouse while you approach the next stage of your separation. Note that a divorce from bed and board is not a “real” divorce, but it can provide you with spousal support and the means to live separately while you move forward with your absolute divorce. 

These initial planning decisions may be even more important in North Carolina, as the state requires you to separate from your spouse for 12 months before moving forward with a divorce. Faced with a divorce that will take an entire year to complete, you may be concerned about harassment and abuse from your spouse during this period. Planning out your divorce from bed and board and restraining orders can help alleviate some of these concerns. 

Collect Documentation

Collecting evidence before the discovery phase officially begins is always a good idea. The discovery phase is when both spouses share as much information with each other as possible in preparation for the trial ahead. However, there is always the possibility that your spouse will choose to conceal key information, such as the extent of their financial assets. If you believe that your spouse may want to hide assets and income from you, you can collect the necessary evidence before you even file for divorce. 

Establish Your Own Accounts and Identity

If you have been in a marriage for many years, your entire financial world may be linked with your spouse. In preparation for your divorce, it is probably a good idea to start opening accounts in your own name. This allows you to easily begin operating as an independent individual once the divorce papers have been filed. You might also want to explore other options, such as changing your name to avoid future confusion. Establishing credit in your own name is especially important, as your credit score may be low without any prior activities. 

Get Help if You Need it

Do not be afraid to reach out to qualified mental health experts if you are feeling overwhelmed by this process. There are many professionals out there who are ready to assist you, and talking about the divorce ahead of time can help you feel more confident and reassured. Perhaps you are not even sure whether you want to go through with your divorce. Speaking with family members and friends whom you can trust could also be helpful. 

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been searching the North Carolina area for a family law attorney, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. We understand that approaching a divorce can be emotionally burdensome, and it can be challenging to plan effectively when you are dealing with inner turmoil. With our assistance, you can approach your divorce with confidence. You do not need to feel rushed or frantic as you prepare for the next stage of your life. We will help you organize your affairs and wait until you are genuinely ready before drafting the divorce papers. Book your consultation today.