You’re not happy with your marriage. You’ve tried counseling.
You’ve tried goal setting. You’ve tried more space. You’ve
tried “dating” your spouse like you did back in the day. You’ve
tried everything you’re willing to try and you’ve decided
that divorce is the only option. In fact, you’ve decided that divorce
is the best option. You’ll both be happier when it’s done.
You’re not trying to avoid it any longer, but now you aren’t
sure what to do next. What do you actually DO when you’ve decided
to move forward with a divorce?
5 Steps to Take to
Prepare for Divorce:
- Obtain “Wise” Counsel – This isn’t your sister.
This isn’t you neighbor. This isn’t that criminal defense
attorney you met on the cruise last summer. Wise counsel refers to an
experienced divorce attorney in your area that comes highly recommended
and who makes you feel comfortable.
- Gather Financial Info – You will need to have a good understanding
of where both you and your spouse stand financially in order to proceed
with divorce. One main portion of the dissolution process is to provide
the two parties with an equitable division of marital assets. No one will
know if the division is equitable or not if you have no idea what your
finances look like.
- Prepare a Post-Divorce Budget – Determine what funds you will have
to work with after the divorce is final so you can decide what you have
to live on. What will your costs of living be? What amount will be necessary
monthly to run the household? In some cases, income will drop significantly
post-divorce. Preparing a post-divorce budget gives you the chance to
consider all the possibilities so none of them knock you off your feet
after the divorce is final.
- Establish Your Own Credit – Some individuals going through a divorce
have never had any “credit” of their own. Now is the time
to establish your credit by obtaining a credit card in your name only.
This will avoid hassles for future purchases (post-divorce) like a vehicle
or a home.
- Close Joint Accounts – Before you separate, close any joint credit
or checking/savings accounts. This will avoid the potential for an angry
spouse to use the account or run up charges during the proceedings.
Possibly more important than all the other tips put together is this one
final bit of excellent advice: be on your best behavior. Getting divorced
doesn’t mean it’s time to start staying out all night partying
and living like you have no responsibilities. During the divorce process
you may be scrutinized closely. If your case ends up in court, you don’t
want there to be any activities or indiscretions that will be easy to
use to present you negatively. Plus…being on your best behavior
will have the additional benefit of helping to avoid any unnecessary conflict
during the process.
If you need additional information regarding the
Arizona divorce process, please get in touch as soon as possible. The experienced divorce lawyers at
Arizona Family Law Attorneys are available to answer your questions and address your concerns.