Nervous about filing for divorce? Everywhere you turn, there are horror stories about divorces gone wrong. But that doesn’t mean your own separation has to get messy. Here’s how you can protect yourself before signing any papers:
- No One “Wins” a Divorce
Getting divorced hurts both parties. Although you may get what you want out of the situation, you more than likely will have to make some compromises. Instead of focusing on winning, it’s better to mitigate potential consequences. Many times, making a “priority list” will help you focus on what is most important to you. Talk with your lawyer about any concerns you may have, including custody, asset division, and financial support.
2. There Will Be Tons of Paperwork
Walking into a divorce hearing without doing your homework is never a good idea. You’ll need to gather years of financial records, including bank records, retirement or investment records, any loans or lines of credit you may have with your partner or on your own. Having a solid paper trail will make it easier to divide up assets fairly.
3. Protecting Yourself Is a Must
No matter how amicable the divorce may seem, don’t assume your partner won’t seek revenge. It’s critical that you safeguard all your assets. Take possession of anything you don’t want to lose, such as heirlooms, important documents, vehicles, or valuables. It’s not uncommon for a distressed spouse to drain their joint bank account. Now is the time to open an account in your own name to protect your money. This doesn’t mean you hide assets, it means you protect them until you can get a court order.
4. Hire a Divorce Lawyer Right Away
You should hire a divorce attorney the moment divorce becomes imminent. Divorce laws are challenging to digest, and they vary from state to state. Besides, it isn’t easy to think clearly during a highly emotional period. A lawyer will keep your best interests in mind and help you navigate the process.
No one enters a marriage thinking it will end in divorce, but it can happen to anyone. A divorce attorney will ensure you get the best possible outcome from a difficult situation. Connect with McCutchen McLean to discuss your concerns before filing for divorce.