The divorce process does not begin by retaining a lawyer; it begins the moment you accept that your marriage is over.  There is a great deal of ambivalence and frustration at this moment of realization.   Before moving forward with your case it is important to reconcile with these emotions and act rationally. This is the first step in setting yourself up for a successful divorce.

When considering a divorce or separation, prepare for the added responsibilities that will come with separating the marital household.  If you are not the spouse who typically pays the bills and files the taxes, it is important to determine your own financial status.  You may require support from your spouse.  If so, you should begin to analyze how much support you may need and for how long.  The more you do to prepare, the better off you will be once the divorce is finalized.

The legal aspects of divorce can be confusing and overwhelming, especially considering the emotional and mental stress of the situation.  Hiring effective counsel can make all of the difference in the success of your case.  Your attorney is most able to help you if you come to them prepared.   When preparing for a consultation with an attorney, collect financial documentation that accurately portray your financial situation.   This includes pay stubs, tax returns, and evidence of any and all assets, in addition to statements for all debts, loans, and credit cards.

This is also a good time to be proactive about preparing for the impending divorce proceedings.  Take an inventory of your property, establish your own post-separation bank accounts and lines of credit, have a current, usable, and confidential mailing address, such as a P.O. Box, and determine the status of your (and your children’s) health insurance.  Consider creating a career plan.  Update your job skills and education if necessary, so that you have the ability to independently support yourself.

Most importantly, be honest with yourself about what you want and what is best for you and your family.  If necessary, seek guidance from a counselor or other professional rather than try to go through this alone.  If you or a family member is considering a divorce or in need of representation in an alimony matter, please contact the dedicated family law attorneys of Petrelli Previtera.