After extensive thought and reflection, deciding to file for divorce can be a liberating and terrifying process. It’s a hard emotional process and can be difficult financially as well. Do not enter into divorce lightly. But once you have decided, what are you supposed to do? Below, you will find the steps you need to take when you file for divorce.
Exhaust All Other Options
Do you really want a divorce, or is there a chance to save your marriage? Before you file, make sure the marriage is over. To do this, try everything from mediation, therapy to a couple’s vacation. Sometimes therapy or counseling can help you reconnect with your spouse. If the relationship is volatile or abusive, it is better to get out as soon as you can.
If you decide to go to therapy and after a while you realize it is not making things better, talk to your spouse and decide what to do next.
Take Inventory of Assets
You should take inventory of everything you own. Also, get all of your financial information together. The longer the marriage, the harder it will be to divide everything. The financial aspect of divorce is usually a point of contention, so keep that in mind.
Pick a Lawyer
You don’t have to have a divorce lawyer, but you need one. An attorney can help you through the divorce process and make it easier. A lawyer can help you divide the assets and settle on a custody agreement. Also, because dividing property differs from state to state, a lawyer can ensure you get everything you are owed.
Prepare Divorce Papers
Filing for divorce involves a lot of paperwork, and the divorce forms needed vary from state to state. A lawyer can make sure you sign the correct documents for the county you live in. While preparing the divorce papers, you need to decide the legal reason for the divorce. Examples of legal grounds include adultery, cruel treatment, mental incapacity, and desertion. Alimony, division of assets, and child custody are issues that need to be identified if you want the court to address them. If you and your spouse have already worked out these issues, you can file an uncontested divorce.
Divorce can be difficult, mentally, emotionally, and financially. Knowing the steps to take after you make the decision can make things a little easier. You are not alone in the process.