Preparing for Divorce


Preparing for Divorce

You have made the decision that what is best is to get divorced. Or maybe, you are still considering your options and want to know what to think about and what you will need to do to prepare. Besides speaking with an attorney - these are some practical steps you can take on your own and to start planning for and thinking about.

First, do you have friends and family or other support mechanisms in place.  You are splitting from the person who was supposed to be your partner and closest ally in this world. That can leave many feeling very lonely. It is good, if possible, to have people you can talk to and who you can turn to for support as your begin this process. 

Second, your living arrangements. Are you going to try and stay in the marital residence? Are you expecting that you will move out? Maybe your spouse? It may not be as simple as asking them to leave. You have to consider what the living arrangements may be especially if the divorce gets drug out and there is protracted litigation. Do you have children and custody to consider? A home office? Are there any domestic violence concerns? 

Third, your financial arrangements. Do you work? Do you depend on your spouse for income - will you need alimony? Do they depend on you? Can you and your spouse afford to live separately and pay the expenses for two households? Will you need to start working if you don't now? Will you need a second job, or need to look for one that pays more? How is health insurance covered? Will you need an alimony lawyer?

Fourth, your marital estate. Do you know what you and your spouse own? Besides a home, vehicles and your belongings, do you know all the accounts and financial holding you have? Do you know if your spouse has retirement? Is there any life insurance? Do you know all your debts? All the credit cards that either you or your spouse has in joint names or individual names? If not, can you find that out? 

These questions are meant to get you thinking about your situation and to consider things in ways that will eventually be useful to you and your attorney if and when you or your spouse files for divorce. It is best if these things start to be considered as early in the process as possible and ideally before the divorce is ever filed. It may be easier to find and access documents before the fog of a court action takes over. It can be helpful to start making lists and taking accounting of what you have. Both big and small (especially valuable items like jewelry, collectibles and sentimental items). Also consider how and where you will keep items. Do you have a shared computer, could this cause a problem? Does your spouse know your email or password? It can sometimes be a good idea to start a new email address that you may use to communicate with your attorney, financial adviser, or other people about your divorce. Some people will get storage lockers, or PO Boxes to have security as they proceed through what may be a turbulent time. It may be prudent to open a separate personal bank account and often at a different bank then you and your spouse typically bank at. 

We at Gibson Law Group can help walk you through these considerations, and what may be important in your situation. We often get involved with clients before a divorce is ever actually filed to help plan out best steps. 

To speak with a Lancaster divorce lawyer, call 717-344-5525 or contact us.

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