Filing for Divorce: What You Need to Know
Published Oct 17, 2021
When a marriage begins to fall out, divorce is usually imminent. While filing for divorce is never easy, sometimes, it’s the only way to move forward.
Understandably, some people put off filing for divorce for a variety of reasons. More than just the emotional toll, getting a divorce involves tons of paperwork and sometimes lengthy legal battles.
While people’s hesitation to file a divorce is understandable, the people considering a divorce should be aware of the benefits of being the first spouse to file for divorce.
What is a Divorce?
A divorce is when a husband and wife decide not to live together anymore and no longer want to be married to each other. They agree to sign some legal papers that make them each single again and meet other people if they want.
What Happens When Filing for Divorce First?
There is one particular benefit that you can obtain when filing for divorce first. If you file for divorce early before your spouse, you are financially ready to do so.
You would have prepared all the legal documents such as bank and investment account statements, life insurance policies, wills, social security cards, titles to property. Your spouse will also need these documents and will have a more challenging time obtaining them when the divorce process starts.
Filing for divorce first also helps you legally in terms of requesting a Standing Order for your spouse. This order prevents either spouse from making changes to beneficiaries on policies.
These policies include life insurance, retirement accounts, changing bank accounts, selling or transferring property, and other financial moves. A Standing Order might be vital if you suspect your spouse will attempt to hide or move assets.
10 Things to Do Before Filing for Divorce
1. Never Make Divorce Threats Until You Are Prepared To File
It will cause considerable harm to your partner, and he or she may begin preparing a divorce, relocating assets, and repositioning himself or herself with the children, all of which could be detrimental to you. Allow sufficient time to plan properly and then file for divorce after your affairs are in order.
2. Organize Your Documents
The more cost-effective your divorce is, the more money you can save. If your attorney receives your records in a state of disarray, organizing them will require time and money. Collect every vital document you can locate and make duplicates of each. Locate previous tax returns, bank statements, investment statements, check registers, retirement account statements, employee benefit handbooks, mortgage documents, life insurance policies, family trusts, financial statements, credit card statements, Social Security statements, stock grants, and automobile titles, among other documents. If your spouse is self-employed, it is critical to acquire as much information about his or her business’s finances as possible. Make copies of any useful financial information that you may have stored on your home computer or in other locations around the house.
3. Concentrate Your Attention on Your Children
Concentrate on your children and the best ways to mitigate the divorce’s impact on their lives. If you maintain a healthy balance and a sense of community, your children will as well. Prepare a schedule for how you intend to divide parenting time with the other parent. Avoid involving youngsters in the conflict or requiring them to choose sides. It is unjust and will cause them severe distress.
4. Ascertain that You Have Three Months of Financial Resources Available
As the spouse with low financial means, ensure that you have sufficient monies saved to cover your expenses for at least three months. When the divorce process begins, many husbands become vindictive and may financially isolate you. Although your attorneys can secure financial help for you, this will take time.
5. Seek the Best Legal Advice Possible
This is not the time to make compromises or to believe everything your partner says. Conduct research to determine whether your attorney possesses the necessary abilities and reputation to assist you with the divorce. It is vital that you have the best representation possible during this extremely trying period of your life. If your spouse encourages you not to seek legal assistance, you should be skeptical immediately.
6. Ensure You Have Credit Available
Apply for your own credit card, as your spouse may disable your credit card access if you split. Having available credit enables you to make purchases while your attorneys seek court orders for interim financial assistance.
7. Establish A Safety Plan If There Is A History Of Domestic Violence Or If There Is A Risk Of Domestic Violence
Recognize that when you leave your partner, violence may intensify. However, you should not be urged to seek a protection order unless it is absolutely essential. Cases that begin with filing a protective order barring your spouse from your home and children frequently become some of the most contentious. Utilizing something as a weapon might occasionally prove costly in the long run. Each decision made during a divorce will have long-term consequences for your life. Therefore, it is critical that you seek the greatest representation and guidance possible.
8. Possession Is Approximately 9/10ths of the Law
Possession might constitute nine-tenths of the law when it comes to child custody. Unless there is a compelling need to separate immediately, it is far more prudent to retain custody of the children while a temporary parenting plan is negotiated. Ascertain that you are acquainted with your children’s teachers, counselors, physicians, and other experts. The last thing you want is a school instructor to inform an evaluator that they have never seen you and met you.
9. Surround Yourself With Family And Friends Who Are Consistently Positive
Filing for divorce will require every available assistance and support available.
10. Make Every Effort to Remain Civil and Respect Your Spouse
You may be required to attend future weddings, graduations, and funerals with them. Avoid making angry statements. Never write an email while enraged or agitated. These will resurface during the divorce process. Bear in mind that this will be a trying experience, but you will overcome it and gain empowerment in the process.
(Related: How to Find Divorce Records in the US)
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About The Author
Krizzia Paolyn holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She is a professional writer for various digital magazines and renowned publications. It has always been her passion to share her voice, and at the same time, to encourage others to share their voices as well.