Preparing Legally for a Divorce: 3 Steps You Need to Take

Getting ready for a divorce isn't always easy. In fact, divorce can take a lot of time and preparation. Find out how you can begin the divorce process in this article.

So you've decided to separate from your partner. This is a huge decision that generally takes a lot of time and consideration. Perhaps the two of you have irreconcilable differences. Maybe you've tried counseling. Maybe you've simply grown apart. The decision to end a marriage is just as big as the decision to start one, and it's not something you should take lightly. In fact, there's nothing wrong with taking your time finalizing your decision. However, once you've made the choice to go your separate ways, the real work begins. No matter what circumstances led to your divorce, it's important that you prepare legally as much as possible. Here's what you need to know.

1. Identify your assets

Make sure you know what your assets are. While this may seem simple, the reality is that you likely have more assets than you realize. You'll need to discuss these assets with your attorney, as many of them may be divided or shared during the divorce process. If you have a prenuptial agreement in place, this will impact how your assets are divided. Whether or not you have a prenup, however, make sure that you know exactly what your assets are. For example, do you have an IRA? What about a separate savings account? Do you have an investment account? A car? A summer home? Maybe you have other financial or physical assets, as well. Whether your assets are in your name or they are shared with your partner, make sure you have this information ready when you meet with your attorney to discuss your separation.

2. Obtain necessary paperwork

When it's time to divorce your partner, you'll need to have the right paperwork. Make sure you understand what documents you need to fill out and what kind of information you need to bring with you when you meet with your attorney. You may need copies of your marriage license or even your children's birth certificates, so make sure you have these ready and available to bring to your attorney's office. If you need to obtain copies of any important documents, you can generally do so easily by contacting the county clerk's office.

3. Meet with your attorney

When you and your partner are ready to move forward with your separation, schedule an appointment with your attorney. In some cases, you and your partner may share an attorney, while in other cases you may prefer to have your own lawyers. If you do not agree on the terms of the divorce, such as who will receive which assets, then you may need to have separate attorneys to represent you during this time.

Once you and your partner finalize your decision to separate, schedule an appointment with a divorce attorney who can help you with the legal process of your separation. Call today for your initial consultation and to discuss how you can begin moving forward.