If you are considering a trial separation or a divorce, you may be feeling lost and overwhelmed, or perhaps angry and frustrated. Even if your spouse’s feelings are mutual, and the split is amicable—there are several steps you must take to fully protect yourself. Due to the intense emotions associated with a separation and divorce, things can quickly take a turn in the wrong direction.
The steps listed below will help both husbands and wives to prepare for an impending separation or divorce.
Seek Out The Expertise Of A Female Divorce Lawyer—this is essential for understanding your rights and the overall process of divorce.
Take Inventory—this includes assets such as houses, cars, and family heirlooms, as well as items that have sentimental value.
Calculate Household Expenses—this includes everything from rent, mortgage, utilities, insurance, school tuition, and all other monthly and annual costs of living.
Make Copies Of Important Documents—you and your spouse are likely to keep all of your important documents in a single location, such as a safe deposit box or a locked file cabinet. To ensure that you have access to all of the documents you require once separated or divorced, make a secondary copy of pertinent documents—and then store them somewhere safe. This includes:
- Banking information, account statements
- Retirement documents, 401k, IRA’s, investments, and other financial information
- Health, auto, and homeowner’s insurance documents
- Deeds and titles to the car, house, and substantial gifts from family
- Mortgage paperwork
- Children’s birth certificates, social security cards
- Marriage certificate
Document Important Events—If you have not yet begun documenting significant events, now is the time. Start with a journal or electronic document that is password protected. Use these events to help direct your conversation with your attorney. Document factors such as:
- The date you or your spouse moved out, as well as dates you attempted to reconcile
- The dates that your spouse has taken large sums of money out of your joint bank account
- The nights your spouse did not come home
- Dates your spouse didn’t let you take the children on a trip to see your family, or denied you visitation
- Dates your spouse was verbally or physically abusive, drank in excess, used drugs, destroyed your property, or other upsetting and extreme behavior
Consider Individual Counseling for you and your children—You are coming to the end of a significant chapter in your life. Whether looking for closure or if you simply require someone to guide you as you talk through emotionally charged topics—a skilled therapist may be able to assist. Therapy can also be important for children who are often overwhelmed when their parents split. Children may blame themselves or become involved in the fight between their feuding parents. This can cause behavior problems and a drop in grades.
The steps above are an excellent place to begin when considering a trial separation or divorce. For further legal guidance, reach out to Roanoke Divorce Attorney Nanda Davis today.