Ready to File
If you’re getting ready for a divorce you should stop and examine your options before you file those papers. Ultimately, you are the only person who will have to decide what route you’re going to take in your divorce and you are the person who will have to live with the decisions you make, your friends and your lawyer will not. You can also utilize the input of qualified professionals of course, but you will be making the decision as to whether or not you will need an attorney or if you will attempt mediation before filing. Once you know where you want to end up, it will be easier to choose your course of action.
If you decide to hire a divorce lawyer, they can provide most of the info you’ll need to handle your case. If you decide to represent yourself, make sure you have the resources to do it correctly. You can also hire an attorney by the hour just for initial consultation during the beginning of your divorce. An one-time consultation will be far less expensive than hiring an attorney to handle the entire case. If you feel you need an attorney and can’t afford one, contact the Bar Association or legal aid society in your area to see what assistance might be available.
Keep in mind that a divorce lawyer is not a therapist even though many people expect them to be. An attorney cannot resolve your emotional and psychological issues. It is always better keep your emotions out of the legal process, and a counselor or therapist is the best person to help with any emotional issues before you get to court. If you are unsure about getting a divorce at all, you might want to consider hiring a divorce mediator. Many divorce cases can be settled without a court trial and mediation could lead to a compromise that works for everyone without having to battle it out in front of a judge. Mediation can help you decide how to handle your case instead of allowing the court to do it for you.
One thing that can make the whole divorce process a bit easier is to pay off any joint debts before initiating it. It is easier to start a new life if you don’t have to worry about paying off old debts. Cancel all jointly held credit cards and to set up own individual credit accounts. Remember to revoke other users on any separate charge accounts that you might keep open. You can legally remove half of all the cash assets from joint checking, savings and other liquid financial accounts, but don’t take more than half or there could be repercussion later.
You will probably want to remove you’re your soon-to-be ex from your life insurance policies before you file, perhaps designating your children or relatives beneficiaries instead. You can also replace your old will with a new one that makes your children, relatives or favorite charity your heirs. Look into educational and support programs for parents with children involved in a divorce. A bit of support can help parents to make good decisions for the whole family when going through a breakup. You can calculate your child support amounts in advance by researching the specific child support guidelines for your state. They can usually be found on-line or in the library. Arming yourself with the necessary information and a good support system before you file for a divorce is never a bad idea.