How to Legally Prepare for a Divorce

How to Legally Prepare for a Divorce

When a couple is headed for divorce, one spouse may try to sabotage the other by hiding assets or making false allegations of child abuse to win custody of the kids. While some divorces can be amicable, the traditional process is adversarial in nature. Fighting over who gets the house, the new sport utility vehicle and even the family dog can end up costing massive amounts of money in legal bills. Knowing how to prepare for divorce can help both parties avoid unnecessary stress and shield the children from witnessing their parents at war.

Alternative to Adversarial Process

Most states throughout the nation have no-fault grounds for divorce. In cases where both parties are unable reach an agreement on the terms of their split, collaborative divorce may be the best solution. Collaborative law is a unique way to resolve financial and child custody issues. In this process, each spouse along with their respective legal counsel sign an agreement that they are committed to reaching a settlement without going to court. This can save a lot of time and money in addition to keeping dirty laundry from being aired in a public courtroom.

How to Plan for Divorce


It seems rather ironic that couples spend copious amounts of time planning their wedding. They can picture the big day where they will be surrounded by friends and family and imagine that it will be the happiest day of their life. Yet when the marriage breaks down, neither one thinks about planning for divorce. There are steps that can be taken to minimize the collateral damage, such as:
• Gather Your Paperwork—The amount of documentation required for a divorce can overwhelming. Take time to gather important bank account information, credit card records, tax statements for the past few years and employment information. Make copies of any relevant deeds, prenuptial agreements and a list of assets that were acquired prior to marriage.
• Videotape Your Possessions—Record a video showing all your possessions, including the house, vehicles and any other valuable assets. When the divorce process begins, it is not unusual for jewelry or money to go missing. Consider putting items in a safety deposit box where the other spouse does not have access if you believe that these items could wind up getting destroyed.
• Medical & Dental Checkups—People that are covered under their spouse’s medical insurance may want to see their doctor or dentist before coverage runs out.
• Income Taxes—Make a binding agreement on how taxes will be handled either prior to or after divorce. The last thing you need is to get hit with a huge tax bill your ex-spouse is unwilling to pay.

Don’t Try to Handle Divorce Without Legal Help

Potential legal quagmires may surprise couples that believe they can work out a settlement in a friendly manner. Let’s say that both spouses have reached an agreement that they think is fair. Before a divorce can be granted, the family court judge must sign off. If he believes that one party is getting the short end of the stick, he may not agree with the settlement. This can throw a huge monkey wrench into the process. When you hire a family law attorney, they know what the judge will or won’t agree to. Have a peek at this website and seek legal advice before filing for divorce.

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