Perhaps one of the most shocking things you will hear are the words “I want a divorce”. Nothing can really prepare you for the emotional bombshell that just landed. If you believe that your marriage cannot be saved and that a divorce is imminent, then the next steps you take can make a huge difference in how your future plays out.
If your spouse just told you they want a divorce, stay calm. Talk to them about any options for counseling. Ask yourself if the marriage can be saved. If not, then you need to have a plan of action.
Before you do anything else, you need to talk to a family law attorney who is experienced and comes with good recommendations. You have certain legal rights and responsibilities, and it’s going to be vital that you follow your attorney’s advice and not take actions that will ultimately hurt you in court.
The more educated you are about the legalities of divorce, and the more support you know you have from your attorney, the better you will feel about the battle ahead.
One thing your attorney will tell you over and over is to make sure you are looking out for the best interests of your children. Don’t badmouth your ex in front of them and do your best to continue to create a stable, consistent schedule for them. Keep things as normal for them as you can and put their needs first.
Your life is about to become an open book. Make sure there are no pages missing. Start by assembling all your financial documents. Bank statements, tax returns, credit card statements, investment account records, mortgage, and car title documents...anything related to your finances need to be copied and organized.
You also need to start making an inventory of all the household possessions of value. This includes artwork, jewelry, furniture, appliances, cars, etc. Anything of value needs to be documented, and your attorney will want to know when each item was obtained (i.e. was it before or during the marriage?)
One other item many people forget is to create a record of the typical household budget. Go through your checkbook and make a list of all the expenses for the household for the last three months. Also, note anything you paid for in cash. The idea is to get an idea of your typical budget so that it can be addressed correctly in court.
You’re going to need to be honest with yourself concerning your financial situation post-divorce. Start by looking at your credit record and ask your attorney about steps you can take to better your credit rating without doing damage to your court case.
Also, begin looking at what training (if any) you will need to successfully rejoin the workforce after your divorce if you are not already working. Start saving money so that you can have a little bit of a nest egg while the divorce finances are being worked out.
If your spouse just told you they want a divorce, take some time and then put the armor on and get ready to fight. Hopefully, your divorce will be amicable, but if it’s not, you need to be prepared. Hiring a great attorney can make a world of difference.
Family Matters Law Group fights hard for clients across the Atlanta metro area. We believe in fighting for families, assets, and money so that our clients can thrive after their divorce. If you would like to schedule a consultation, simply call or use our online contact form. We’re ready to hear your story and fight hard for you!