Keeping Your Family Strong--Even Through Divorce

4 Things To Do Before Filing For Divorce

by Kristen Wright

Coming to the decision to get divorced can be a difficult decision for a couple and the family. While an impending divorce can be very stressful, there are several things that you should do prior to filing for divorce in order to make the process go smoother. If you're planning on a divorce in the near future, take the following steps:

Interview Divorce Attorneys in Your Area

Prior to filing for divorce, it is also in your best interest to hire an experienced divorce attorney. The best way to do this is by interviewing several divorce attorneys to find out their fees and how they handle divorce cases. Division of assets, spousal support, child support, and custody arrangements all important details of a divorce and your outcomes can depend on a lot of your attorney and his or her skills.

Gather Important Documents

A huge part of the divorce process is dividing both assets and debts. In order to do this, your attorney will need documentation of both what you and your spouse jointly own and what debts you both carry. You will need to gather tax returns, bank statements, mortgage paperwork, credit card bills, and 401(k) statements. Having all of this information gathered prior to seeing your attorney and filing for divorce can speed up the process.

Determine Child Custody Goals

If you and your spouse are amicable, it is a good idea to sit down and discuss your goals for custody of your shared children. A divorce can be a lot easier when a couple can come to an agreement in regards to physical and legal custody of minor children. Ideally, you and your spouse should develop a child custody plan that allows the children to spend ample time with each parent and also takes into account time off for school and holidays.

Know Where You're Going to Live

Before filing for divorce, you need to think long and hard about your living situation. You and your spouse will need to decide if you will live in the same house during the divorce proceedings or if one of you will move out. It is also important to think long-term and figure out where you will live after the divorce is final. In many cases, the court will require a jointly owned home to be sold and profits divided, or one spouse will have to buy out the other in order to keep the house.

Contact local family divorce attorneys for more information and assistance.