Planning to file for a divorce can be a stressful and painful time for men and women, and when children are involved it can become extremely emotional as well. The attorneys at RM Law Group put this guide together because we know what you’re feeling and thinking during this stressful time. Indeed, all of our clients go through it in one way or another. You need to know that what you do right now is absolutely critical to protect yourself and your rights.
If you’re planning to file for divorce and need some guidance on steps you can take now, here’s our 9 things you can do to prepare for filing for divorce:
- Don’t increase your debt
- A common misconception of people is that if you increase your debt before filing for divorce, your spouse will be responsible for one-half of it. Therefore, oftentimes people will take out credit cards and make new purchases before filing for divorce. However, the debt that gets divided between spouses is debt that existed as of the date of separation, not the date of filing for divorce. So, if you take out credit cards before you file for divorce but after you separated, you will still likely be solely responsible for that debt.
- Don’t make rash decisions
- Filing for divorce can be emotionally draining and stressful causing you to have a wide range of feelings and impulses. It is important that you take the time to gather yourself and really think about your future and the necessary steps to get there. So, do not make rash emotionally-driven decisions that will prejudice you in the future or during your divorce.
- Don’t discuss the details of your divorce with your children
- When anticipating custody and visitation issues in your divorce, parents oftentimes want to discuss the details of their divorce with their young children. Although some parents want to consider their children’s feelings, parents should consider the fine line between considering their children and placing them in the middle of their divorce. This is also a consideration many judges have when granting custody and visitation orders. Judges don’t take kindly to parents that place their children in the middle of their divorces or try to completely alienate them from the other parent. Remember, you are getting divorced, not your children.
- Your divorce is unique, don’t compare it to other divorce outcomes
- A common mistakes people make is that they want to compare their divorces to those divorces of other people, which could become very misleading and can lead to unreasonable expectations. Every divorce is unique, even if only by the smallest of margins. For example, just because your friend pays a certain amount in child support for one child doe not mean that would be the same amount in your case for your one child. Each case is assessed and analyzed individually, and the outcomes depend on the specific facts and circumstances of your case.
- Create an inventory to your personal property
- People never think about this, but most people have hundreds of items in their home ranging from small insignificant objects to larger more considerable items. Make sure you start composing an inventory of the personal belongings, furniture, furnishings and photographs in your home so that you can later consider what items are important to you and which ones you would like to keep. This is much easier to do in the early stages as opposed to trying to figure these things out after the spouses have separated and items have already been taken.
- Gather documents that you will need during the divorce process
- Like with property, documents are also much easier to collect at the onset of a divorce. Additionally, documents are going to be extremely helpful in proving certain issues that may become contested during your divorce. Common documents you should start collecting include bank statements which reflect the balances at the time of separation, mortgage statements and deeds of title, profit and loss statements, income tax returns, etc. Don’t wait until you misplace these items or until you lose access to them before starting to gather these kinds of documents.
- Start considering alternate living arrangements
- Divorces can be very contentious, especially when spouses remain living together during the process. This can easily create unnecessary turmoil and tension not just for you, but for your children as well. You should start considering alternating living arrangements to facilitate the divorce process and enable you and your children to go through the transition as smoothly as possible. Moreover, judges will consider your long-term living arrangements when granting custody and visitation orders.
- Hire a Family Law attorney
- When hiring a lawyer, make sure to hire one that practices in the area of Family Law. You are doing yourself a disservice by hiring a lawyer that practices in several different areas of law as he or she may be limited in his/her knowledge of the divorce process, child custody or spousal support. You want to place yourself in a position where you have the representation of a qualified and experienced Family Law lawyer that can ensure you get the best outcome possible. RM Law Group offers well qualified divorce representation from our offices in San Bernardino, Ontario, Orange & Cerritos and we serve all courts in Southern California.
- Finally, be honest with your attorney.
- Be sure to be straightforward and honest with your lawyer as it will enable him or her to formulate the best strategy to approach your case and ensure you get what you want and deserve. There is no benefit to concealing the truth about behavior, actions or statements. You place your lawyer and yourself at a disadvantage if he/she learns certain information in the middle of a court hearing rather than learning of it beforehand from you.
Consult With Experienced Divorce Lawyers Today
The experienced Family Law lawyers at RM Law Group can help answer all of your questions regarding the divorce process, costs and time frame today at no charge. Our experienced divorce attorneys will know the best possible way to approach any circumstance. Call us today at (888) 765-2902 and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation directly with one of our attorneys today.