Getting a divorce does not necessarily begin with filing a petition for dissolution of marriage. While some situations might make it necessary to file immediately, other situations may allow time for you to do some work before filing.
If possible, planning ahead for divorce might make the process easier. It may also help you lay the groundwork for success in your life after divorce.
What Sort Of Planning Can Be Done?
An article in the Wall Street Journal details some of the steps you can take regarding financial matters that may prove beneficial. For example, you could create an inventory of assets, along with supporting documentation. It can be particularly helpful to document any assets you believe are your separate property, as those may not be subject to property division. You might want to start saving and working on a budget. You may also want to open a credit card in your own name and establish a credit history for yourself.
There are also many steps you can take related to your relationships and your personal life. You may want to check in on your relationship with your children. Are you spending enough time with them? Be aware that child custody arrangements are often influenced by the relationships that each parent has with the children during the marriage. You may also want to re-establish relationships with extended family and friends, strengthening your support system. It may become critical during this time of transition.
Think about how you present yourself in the public eye, particularly on social media. Many people forget that what they post on Facebook is public and can come back to haunt them during a divorce. It may be worthwhile to discontinue use of social media altogether until a divorce is finalized. Be aware also that correspondence you may think is private, such as emails and chats, could be brought into a divorce case.
Think About What You Want Your Divorce To Look Like
Not all divorces have to be a battle. Take the time to explore alternatives. Do you think you will be able to work with your spouse to reach amicable resolutions to property division, child custody and other issues? Is mediation an option for you?
How Much Time Should Be Spent Planning (If There Is Time To Plan)?
This depends on the situation, your schedule and your comfort level. Some people may be able to accomplish a great deal of planning in a matter of weeks. Others may need months to conduct sufficient planning to put themselves in a place where they are ready to file for dissolution of marriage. The key is actively working toward a place where you can be comfortable and confident moving forward.
A Lawyer Can Help
You do not need to wait until you are ready to file for divorce to get a lawyer on board. At Scardina Family Law, we want to help you get through your family law matter with minimal stress and conflict, and planning ahead is one way of accomplishing that goal.
Our lawyers can review your situation and help you identify steps you can take to plan ahead for divorce. We can also answer your questions about the divorce process and help you explore options as to how to proceed.