Tips For Beginning The Divorce Process
by Sheryl J. Seiden, Esq.
For a spouse who recognizes that your marriage is irretrievably broken, here are a few tips to guide you through this difficult time:
Obtain a consultation with an experienced and reputable family law attorney to understand your rights before you engage in mediation or settlement discussions with your spouse.
Prepare a list of your assets, debts, income, expenses, and your spouse’s income, and compile statements for all accounts.
Gather documents to provide proof of any assets that existed prior to the marriage, were gifted from third parties, or inherited.
Monitor accounts and credit cards for excessive spending or withdrawals.
Avoid relocating from the marital residence as this could jeopardize your custody/parenting rights and exclude you from the residence for the duration of the case.
If your partner suffers from alcohol, drug, or mental health issues that impair their ability to parent the children, do not leave the children alone with the parent.
Secure your privacy by ensuring that your email and social media accounts are not kept open on a shared electronic device, and by changing your passwords to all accounts.
In order to limit the accumulation of marital assets and debts and the length of the marriage, either file for divorce or enter into a termination agreement through counsel with your spouse to limit financial exposure.
Do not change the beneficiaries on your life insurance or modify your other insurance policies.
Follow the legal advice provided by your counsel. If you do not trust the advice, then ask questions to obtain clarification and, if needed, obtain a second opinion.