3 important steps to take when preparing to file for divorce

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2024 | Divorce

Divorce can be a long and stressful process. Many people procrastinate about filing after feeling miserable in their marriages for years. They tell themselves that things may get better if they try a little harder or wait a little longer.

Despite many people contemplating divorce for months or more before they file, a shocking number of people broach the idea of divorce with their spouse before taking any concrete steps to prepare. They put themselves at a massive disadvantage by doing so. The following steps can potentially help someone better navigate the complexities of modern divorce more efficiently and effectively.

Securing accurate financial records

Technically, spouses have an obligation to disclose financial information to one another during divorce proceedings. Still, some people refuse to provide records. Others may intentionally alter financial documents or withhold key details from their spouses during a divorce. They do so with the goal of depriving their spouse of their fair share of the marital estate. Obtaining personal copies of income statements, tax returns, financial account records and other key records can set someone up for more successful negotiations. Compiling a personal inventory of assets before a spouse removes anything from the marital home can also be useful.

Cleaning up social media

People often post comments, photos, videos and memes online to a massive digital audience without any consideration of how that activity could affect them in the future. Someone’s social media conduct can have a major impact on divorce proceedings. Before someone files for divorce, they may want to start removing older, questionable posts and eliminating certain people from their friends lists. Developing better social media habits can decrease someone’s risks of surprising and negative divorce outcomes.

Learning about the process

People often rush into divorce without understanding what to expect. They might set highly unrealistic goals and waste time focusing on terms that are frankly unachievable. Understanding state law about property division, child custody and financial support matters can help someone know what they can expect during and after divorce. As a final note, having proper legal representation can make a major overall difference to those preparing for a divorce. An attorney can help someone identify issues that could affect the outcome of their divorce and can help them strategize for the optimal outcome.

Being fastidious during the preparation stage can lead to a more favorable outcome when someone files for divorce.