The divorce process is not only tasking but can also be unpredictable in its length and outcomes. So, when people initially decide that they want to divorce from their spouses, what to do and how to prepare for filing for a divorce is a common question that pops into their minds.
And rightfully so, because before filing for divorce, there are certain things that people might do to help and prevent themselves from enormous financial and emotional struggles. So, if you find yourself in a similar situation, you might wonder—does the person who files for divorce first can gain any advantage? Well, if we look at the question from a perspective of preparations, we could say yes.
After all, being cautious can help you protect yourself and your family in this tasking and lengthy process. So, if you’re planning to break the news to your soon-to-be ex-spouse, below you will find a list of five things to do before you file for a divorce.
Seek For Legal Help
Perhaps the most important step when planning to file for a divorce is finding an experienced divorce lawyer from your area to help you navigate the complicated legal system you’re about to encounter. Since the divorce can affect your financial situation, the time you’ll be able to spend with your children, and whether you’re the one that will stay in your current home or not, having legal aid by your side is highly advisable.
Since state-to-state family and divorce laws and regulations may vary, ensure that you find a local lawyer who is well accustomed and versed with local divorcing laws. For example, if you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse reside in Riverside County, California, it would be wise to consult with a lawyer from a renowned Riverside family law firm before you take any divorce steps. The bottom line is that having legal aid from the start can shorten the process and increase the odds in your favor.
Acknowledge How Your Actions May Impact The Divorce
Once you speak with a lawyer and decide to break the news to your spouse, you need to be more careful about the things you say and your actions because they can be used against you in a court of law. Because, in a divorce, what to avoid and what to do first are usually crucial questions that need professional answers.
Consulting an experienced divorce attorney like www.patriciarigdon.com will not only help you solve questions like “how to begin the divorce process” but also advise on what actions to avoid during the process. For instance, dating during divorce is not advisable, according to experienced lawyers. Your soon-to-be-ex could argue that the relationship began before you filed for divorce and use the relationship as grounds in financial agreements or custody.
Organize Your Finances
Ideally, once you decide to divorce, you’d want to have a clear picture of where you stand financially. One of the main goals of each divorcing process is to make a fair, equitable distribution of marital debts and assets. So, in order to get your fair share during the settlement negotiations, it’s essential to know all of your finances beforehand.
Initially, determine what you own. A significant part of all marital assets are pretty obvious and include the home, cars, joint financial accounts, or assets which should be split equitably. There are other assets as well such as pension plans, inheritances, artwork, and belongings brought into the marriage. Afterward, determine what you owe. Regardless of whose name any debts are in, any money owed will still be split based on who’s more financially able to pay the debt.
Establish Credit In Your Own Name
After a divorce, it can be challenging to buy a house or a vehicle because you may have shared credit with your spouse for many years. For that reason, you must prepare yourself and establish your own credit line, and build up a decent credit score.
If you don’t have any credit in your name, it’s wise to establish some before you file for a divorce. The simplest way to do this is to get a credit card in your name only.
Build Up Resilience And Tolerance
Although counseling might not come as the obvious answer to "what shall I do first before I file for a divorce," a marriage counselor can be just as helpful as a lawyer. While your divorce lawyer might help you win the battle in court, the counselor can help you win the even more critical internal struggle of conflicting forces.
A professional counselor can help you prepare for, cope with, and determine strategies for dealing with divorce struggles. Taking the high road during a divorce is never easy, but it's imperative. Anything can be misconstrued as inappropriate and directly affect the divorce outcome, so having a therapist who can help you build up your patience and tolerance is a big plus.
Each divorce is a harrowing experience for the people involved and takes a lot of effort and adjustment. Moreover, it’s also a confusing time, making you ponder what you should do to prepare yourself before filing for one. For that reason, follow the five steps above and make the procedure easier for yourself by planning and making sure that the divorce is in your best interest.