Here at The Law Office of Olga A. Koplik, we understand that the decision to end your marriage isn’t easy and it is not one that you are taking lightly. Emotions are likely running high during this tumultuous time, which can make it difficult to know how to best proceed. Our team is here to provide you with the legal advice you need during this trying time and our experience can help ensure the best outcome possible for your divorce case. There are several things that you should consider doing before filing for divorce to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible and we’ll take a look at a few of them today. Let’s get started.
Seven Things To Do Before You File for Divorce
Be Sure That You Want a Divorce
This might seem like it goes without saying, but it is worth mentioning. Getting divorced is an inherently emotional process. However, the decision to get divorced should not be based on emotion alone. After all, the last thing you want to do is change your mind after you’ve already hired legal representation and paid legal fees associated with getting a divorce. If there is a chance that you and your spouse will reconcile your differences, then pursuing counseling or legal separation may be a better option for you. Only when you are certain that there is no salvaging your marriage should you consider filing for divorce.
Think About Your Living Arrangements
Certain logistics need to be considered before you serve your spouse with divorce papers and where you will live is one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make, especially if you and your spouse have children together. Some couples find that they are able to live together amicably during the divorce process while is an absolute impossibility for other couples. It is important to consider what your goals are for your living situation after the divorce and how you can best position yourself to accomplish those goals. A skilled divorce attorney can provide you with sound legal advice on this matter before you file.
Identify Your Assets and Debts
To protect your financial interests during a divorce, it is necessary to identify both the assets and debts that you have in your name as an individual and as a couple. As you are doing so, it may be helpful to create a balance sheet either on your own or with the help of an accountant. Remember to consider any type of property that will be divided in the divorce including houses, cars, bank account balances, and retirement accounts, among other things. Accurately assessing your financial situation before filing for divorce ensures the best possible outcome for you financially and it will also help you set a budget for costs associated with legal representation and possible litigation during your divorce.
Gather Financial Documentation
While you are in the process of assessing your financial situation and identifying your assets and debts, it is a good idea to gather any financial documentation that you need to support your financial position. Bank account statements, mortgage balances, and similar financial documents will all play an important role in the final custody and support judgments rendered in your case. It is essential to have this documentation stored in a secure location before you file so that you can access them in the event that communication breaks down between you and your spouse during the divorce process or they lock you out of shared online accounts.
Consider Ideal Custody Arrangements
If you and your spouse have children together, custody arrangements are likely the number one thing on your mind when you are considering filing for divorce. Barring any type of abuse, neglect, or other extreme circumstances, joint custody will likely be awarded to you and your spouse. It is never too early to begin thinking about your work schedule, your children’s school and extracurricular schedules, and other obligations so that you can determine an ideal custody situation. Keep in mind that you and your spouse will need to agree on an amicable parenting plan which will require flexibility from both of you, so it is important to be realistic about your ideal arrangement.
Find a Support Network
Getting divorced is never easy, regardless of whether you are the one who filed for divorce, you were served divorce papers, or ending your marriage was a joint decision. It can be difficult to watch as something comes to an end that you thought would last forever, which is why finding a support network is so important. Surrounding yourself with family and friends can make this challenging time a little easier, as can finding a counselor who can help you cope with the emotions that commonly accompany divorce. The more emotionally stable you are during your divorce, the better prepared you will be to make important decisions in the process.
Consider Consulting a Divorce Attorney
Hiring an experienced Sacramento-area divorce attorney can help your divorce go as smoothly as possible. Not only will you have someone in your corner who can provide sound legal advice, but you’ll also have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that all the paperwork and legal aspects of your case are being handled properly. Before filing for divorce, make a list of local divorce attorneys in town that you would consider working with by asking trusted friends or family members for recommendations and reading online reviews. Then you can begin the process of interviewing attorneys to find the one that best suits your needs and your budget.
Filing for Divorce in Sacramento County?
Are you considering filing for divorce in Sacramento County? If so, the team here at The Law Office of Olga A. Koplik is here to provide you with sound legal advice based on years of experience representing individuals just like yourself. You deserve to work with an experienced Sacramento divorce attorney who offers compassionate yet aggressive legal representation when you need it most. Contact our office today to request your consultation to learn more about our legal services.