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No matter how long you’ve been married or how many children you have, considering divorce is a complicated and sometimes confusing process. In addition to the emotional turmoil of separating from your spouse, there is usually an emotional build-up that led to you searching for information on preparing for a divorce.
Steps to take when considering divorce
When you believe that divorce may be the best option for yourself and your family, it is essential to take steps that will protect yourself and your family. Organizing your records and doing your best to recall dates will help prepare you to discuss your life before meeting with a family attorney.
Meet with a marriage counselor
Marriage counselors aren’t there just to save marriages. In many cases, a marriage counselor can help you navigate your feelings as you move through the stages of your divorce. A counselor can help you cope, provide tips and strategies on how best to navigate your feelings.
Research divorce lawyers in your area
While a do-it-yourself divorce is an option for Texans, having an attorney to guide you through the legal system can save you time and heartache. Even you and your spouse have an amicable split, if you have assets or children, it’s best that you each have someone familiar with the law on your side. Experienced family law attorneys will know how to navigate custody and property disputes to get the best resolution for your family’s needs.
Gather important documents
Once you have decided to go through with a divorce, you need to start gathering information about the life you and your spouse have built. For example, you will need to gather documents concerning checking accounts, savings accounts, mortgages, credit cards and other debts you and your spouse acquired. This will help a court determine which party is responsible for debts and potentially what a spouse may be entitled to.
If you and your spouse share documents, make sure to make copies of everything before meeting with an attorney—both physical and digital. You want to make sure that you always have access to them.
Other important documents that you need to have available are:
- Full addresses, phone numbers, and social securities of both spouses
- Full names, social security numbers, birth dates, and addresses of all children of the marriage, and their schools and grades
- The date and county of the marriage
- Information about any prior marriage of either spouse
- A copy of domestic contracts, such as a prenuptial agreement
- Information about any previous legal proceedings between the spouses or involving any of the children
- Dates about any previous separations, attempts at reconciliation or marriage counseling
It’s a great idea to obtain records of shared online accounts. Not everyone served with divorce papers will react civilly, and you want to make sure that you have access to essential documents whenever.
Document your expenses
When you’re considering divorce, it is vital that during this time, you pay attention to how much you spend by category, including writing down things from groceries to how much you spent on your hair. An easy way to keep track of your spending habits is by creating an Excel or Google spreadsheet. By tracking your spending habits, you will be in a better position to make better and informed decisions about your future before finalizing the divorce. Besides, this information may be useful when a mediator or judge considers things like child support and alimony.
Determine your goals for custody
It is important to prepare your children for the divorce and the lifestyle after it is finalized. Depending on the type of custody you are seeking, a tip to consider during this time is to keep a journal of time spent with your children and interactions throughout the day, such as who is taking them to school, extracurricular activities, and social events. It isn’t about turning it into a competition of who is the better parent. The documentation will help your attorney and the court when trying to determine custody determination.
An attorney can also help you meet your goals for your living situation. Depending on your divorce circumstances, you may want your spouse to move out of the family home. Your attorney can tell you how to proceed in a way that will help your chances of holding onto your primary residence. Generally speaking, taking actions such as staying with a friend or relative before the divorce or starting a new relationship before the divorce can severely impact your case.
Develop a support network
One of the things that will help throughout this process is having people on your side. Having friends and family during hard times like this is a great way to navigate this challenging time. You can lean on for moral support. Having people by your side will help with emotional stability that will help you make smart decisions as your divorce progresses.
Prioritize your children
The most important thing throughout this process is protecting your children if you have any. Your children aren’t getting a divorce and will still need quality with each parent—if it is safe to do so. It is best if you and your spouse decide to break the news about the divorce together. Don’t speak badly about your spouse in front of or to your kids. If you plan on asking for joint or sole custody, make every effort to stay as active in your children’s lives as much as possible.
Meet Our Family Law Attorneys
The Carlson Law Firm handles divorces in Bell, Coryell, Milam, Lampasas, Williamson, Hays, Travis, Bastrop, and Burnet Counties. Our family law attorneys have the resources and know-how to get the best resolution for you and your children.
Our attorneys are offering free virtual consultations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your legal needs do not need to be put on hold. If you are worried about your situation, contact us for a confidential consultation.
At Carlson, we care
At The Carlson Law Firm, we understand that considering a divorce is a hard decision. This is especially true in the early stages when deciding on a divorce. Realizing you need the help of a divorce attorney is also a hard decision. However, divorce isn’t an easy legal matter to handle, especially when child support and child custody have to be determined. Contact our office to speak to with a qualified divorce attorney to ease your situation’s burdens.