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10 Things to do Before Filing for Divorce

Sep 12, 2022 | Arizona Family Law, Divorce, Divorce Attorney, Divorce Lawyer

When you’ve made the decision to get divorced you may be eager to get the ball rolling but separating lives, especially if you’ve been married for a while, is never simple. Before you even file for divorce there are some things you should do:

Be sure.

Divorce is not something to take lightly and even mentioning the possibility of divorce can bring unnecessary stress to a relationship. Before you file for divorce, take time to yourself to think about it and make a plan. Do not bring this up to your spouse until you are certain that it is what you want.

Research legal help.

It may be helpful to sit down with an attorney before you file for divorce. We have been through this process many times with all different kinds of couples. An experience attorney can help explain the process in full and help you get organized for the process ahead. Sitting down and trying to understand the process ahead of time can save you money in the long run if you can prepare things for your attorney.

Watch your actions and words.

Once a divorce is in process everything you say and do will be in question. Practice now keeping your intentions and your thoughts to yourself. Stay off of social media and keep your focus on the things that are most important to you. Even having too many drinks or going out too often may become a factor in a contentious custody battle. 

Think of the children.

The goal in most divorces is setting up joint custody agreements. Take some time to think about what kind of arrangement will be best for your family. How are you willing to make it work? If joint custody will not work, what evidence can you begin collecting now to prove your case?

Prepare your documents.

The more documents you can have prepared ahead of time, the more time and money you’ll save later on. 

Have a plan for finances.

Write down all your known bank accounts, debts and assets. These will all be important for your attorney to know about and consider. If you share bank accounts or credit cards your financial situation may be thrown into chaos. Before you file for divorce, set up your own separate bank account and begin collecting some savings. In case of emergencies, you should try to have three months of expenses saved for the worst case scenario. If you are divorcing due to domestic violence, do not let your finances stop you from seeking help.

Have your own credit card.

It can be difficult to find a palace to live and get a vehicle without your own credit score. Before you file for divorce, begin establishing your own individual credit history. 

Prepare a place to live.

You don’t want to leave your home or your children the second you file for divorce as this could be argued abandonment, but you also don’t want to keep your children in a toxic environment. Do some research in your area and come up with a few ideas for places to go in an emergency or to live until you can get settled.

Find your support network.

If you’ve built most of your life around your spouse, separating can be extremely difficult. Before you file for divorce, build up your friendships and your relationships with family members you can trust. You’ll need their support as you deal with difficult realities.

Build up your patience.

A contentious divorce can take a lot out of you. Get your emotions into check now so you’re not tempted to blow up later. It may be helpful to meet with a therapist and develop strategies to work through stressful situations. Having a respectful attitude and calm demeanor will serve you well.

Pangerl Law Firm P.L.L.C. focuses on divorce, child custody, mother’s and father’s rights, child support, and all other areas of family law, as well as personal injury claims. Our office is located in Deer Valley and serves the greater Phoenix area, including the communities of Scottsdale, Peoria, Glendale, Cave Creek, Avondale, Goodyear, Surprise, Mesa, Tempe, Anthem, New River, North Phoenix and Phoenix. For more information, call: 602-942-6200.