While most couples enter into marriage with the intention of staying together, divorce is something that many find themselves considering at some point after getting married. In fact, somewhere between 40 and 50 percent of married couples in the US will end up divorced. Divorce can be difficult both emotionally and financially for many couples. Even the process of initiating a divorce can be very stressful. Many are unsure of where to start. Here are three things to do before initiating a divorce.
1. Consult With A Lawyer
The first thing that anyone who is about to ask for a divorce should do is to consult with a lawyer who is experienced in family law. A lawyer who specializes in divorce can help with the paperwork and any other issues that may arise. Of course, the goal is to have everything settled without going into litigation. However, if this is not a possibility, having a good divorce lawyer is a must in court. Most divorce lawyers charge on average between $150 and $250 per hour for their services. It's also a good idea to meet with a few divorce lawyers before making a decision.
2. Get Financial Documents In Order
One of the biggest hurdles when it comes to getting a divorce is separating finances. Before initiating a divorce, it's a good idea to have all financial documents in order. Some assets may be considered marital assets and may need to be split. Assets that were acquired before marriage may need to be protected. It's important to have documentation on not only assets but debts as well. A lawyer can help determine which financial documents will be needed during the divorce process.
3. Be Aware Of State Laws
State laws should also be considered carefully before filing for divorce. These laws can vary greatly from state to state. Being aware of these laws is a must when filing for divorce. In some states, starting a new relationship before filing for divorce is considered adultery in the eyes of the law even if the couple is separated. Moving out of the marital home can also have an impact when it comes to the division of assets. It's also important to know that it can take awhile for a divorce to become official in some states. In some states, it's necessary to be separated for a year before filing for divorce.
Initiating a divorce can be difficult. However, for many, it's the right decision. Before starting the divorce process it's important to consult with a lawyer who specializes in family law, ensure that all relevant financial documentation is in order, and to be aware of any state divorce laws that may apply. To learn more, contact a family law professional like Dionisio, Christopher.