Your Pre-Divorce Checklist in North Carolina

If you are heading for a divorce, it can seem like a million different thoughts are running through your mind at once. On the one hand, you have all of the various emotional and psychological concerns that often arise during this difficult time. On the other hand, you have all of the logistical, legal, and financial problems that you suddenly have to deal with. It can be very difficult to adopt an organized, professional mindset during this time. But if you manage to calmly deal with the various hurdles you face, you will set the foundation for successful divorce. Easier said than done, right?

One of the best things to do in this situation is to create a checklist. This goal-driven approach helps you approach the upcoming hurdles with a sense of structure and organization. This allows you to deal with the situation confidently, even if you are currently dealing with debilitating psychological and emotional issues due to your divorce. Simply go through each section one-by-one, and you might feel more productive and confident about your future.

The best way to get started with your divorce is to get in touch with an experienced divorce attorney in North Carolina. Our legal professionals can help you strive for solid results – even if your divorce is still in its beginning stages. Once you make contact with a legal professional, you can immediately start to act in a constructive, efficient manner. Our lawyers can carefully assess your situation during a consultation before providing targeted, personalized advice. From there, you can start to put the pieces in place that will ensure a positive outcome. It is best to get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible if you know you are heading for divorce.

Gather Documents

First, you need to gather as many important documents as possible. These might be mortgage statements, income statements, tax returns, or anything else that you think may be important. Remember, many decisions are based on financial evidence, such as how much your spouse earned during the marriage, the existence of certain assets, the value of your home, and so on. After speaking with an attorney, you can determine exactly what you should be looking for, and which documents you should be saving.

Take an Inventory of Assets

Another positive step is to take an inventory of as many assets you can locate. Pay particularly close attention to household items such as jewelry, collectibles, precious metal, cash, art pieces, and anything else that might mysteriously “go missing” when a divorce is clear. By photographing and itemizing these assets, you can prove their existence during the property division process (which comes much later). In addition, you might also want to search for assets that are easily concealable or hidden, such as cryptocurrency wallets.

Change Passwords

Another obvious step is to change all of your passwords – paying special attention to banking apps, PayPal, social media, email, and any other online platform that might give your spouse access to sensitive information. If you are heading for divorce, you need to keep your private life as private as possible. Otherwise, your spouse could use certain information against you in court.

Deal With Your Bank Accounts

If you and your spouse have joint accounts, now is the time to create a separate financial presence. Create your own separate bank account, apply for your own credit cards, and sever all financial ties with your spouse. The sooner the better, as it may take time to build up credit and get your finances in order.

Consider Your Will or Trust

If you have a will, a trust, or a life insurance policy, now is the time to remove your spouse as a beneficiary. The sooner you do this the better, as you never know what the future may bring.

Speak With Your Spouse About Collaborative Divorce

Finally, you might want to have a quick conversation with your spouse about how you would like to handle the divorce. One option is a collaborative divorce, which is cheaper, quicker, more flexible, and more private compared to typical litigated divorce. Both spouses have to agree on this course of action, however, so it is best to broach the topic right away.

Get in Touch With an Attorney

If you have been searching the North Carolina area for a qualified divorce attorney, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Over the years, we have assisted numerous spouses with their divorces in the Tar Heel State. It is never too early to get started with your divorce. Even though North Carolina requires spouses to separate for 12 months before moving forward with their divorces, you can make the most of this time with the help of a legal professional. Book your consultation now, and you can immediately get started with an effective action plan. Reach out today.