When most people divorce, it’s their first time, and they have no idea where to start. It can be a confusing process to navigate alone, and even if you have a divorce lawyer, there are still steps you will need to take on your own behalf. If you and your estranged spouse are on the same page regarding your separation and divorce, you will still need to make personal and lifestyle changes to protect yourself and your interests.
Here are some important steps you can take to help ensure you’re ready to process your divorce and make it a less stressful experience.
While You’re Separated
A few parts of the divorce process are the longest and most complicated because they deal with your finances and legal obligations. You and your spouse will need to divide your shared assets and debts, so before your divorce can be finalized, you have to divide your financial interests. Make a detailed list of all your important information. Include everything, from legal documents to real estate holdings, so you can ensure you’re ready when it’s time to begin managing these areas of your divorce.
Banks and Credit Cards – Make a list of all your banking and credit card information, including card name, balance, copies of statements, and current balances.
Bills and Finances: Just like with your banking and credit card information, you will need to list the name of the bills and obligations you share with your spouse. You will need information like your account number, balances, and statements to prove the total of your obligation.
Establishing a New Household: Speak to your attorney about whether you should leave the marital home and establish a new residence. Not only can it be expensive, but it can also signal to the court information about your case. If you have minor children and leave martial home, your spouse may become the custodial parent of your children. You can also be prevented from returning to the home without permission once a new residency has been established.
Before Filing for Divorce
Seek Marital Counseling: An important first step before continuing down the road toward divorce is to seek premarital counseling. While you’re separated, you should spend some time making sure you want a divorce and work through your feelings about your marriage with an objective third party.
Find an Attorney: Securing legal counsel early in the process can help ensure you’re completing all the correct paperwork and making the required deadlines. Each state has different divorce requirements, so finding a Pennsylvania divorce attorney to help manage your interests will alleviate a significant amount of the stress associated with initial divorce proceedings.
Change your Mailing Address: It’s important to begin divesting your personal interests from your spouse’s. You should not attempt to hide assets or realign debt in a way that makes your spouse more responsible. However, it is advised that you begin receiving any divorce-related correspondence at another secure address.
Secure Legal Documentation: You will need copies of many of your important legal documents, especially if they pertain to you and your spouse’s finances and marriage.
- Marriage Certificate
- Marital Agreements: Prenuptial or Postnuptial
- Wills, Trusts, or any Estate Planning Documents
After the Divorce
Once your divorce is finalized, and you have done everything specified by your legal representation, you will need to change your life insurance beneficiaries. You will also want to make any changes to the accounts that were locked to changes during the divorce, like your will or retirement accounts.
At Cairns Law Offices, we specialize in no-fault divorces for only $219. If the idea of a low-cost, amicable divorce appeals to you, contact us today to get started! Call us today at (888) 863-9115 to schedule a consultation.