Going through a divorce is one of the toughest and most emotional experiences that you can go through. Divorce proceedings can be contentious, with tempers flaring, bitterness, and often heated arguments. If children are involved, it can be more complicated. With an uncertain financial future, upheaval with living and custody arrangements, and the stress of the proceedings, it is important to properly prepare for your divorce by taking the following steps.
If you are thinking of getting a divorce and want to learn more about how to prepare yourself, contact Kecskes, Gadd & Parker, PC at (734) 354-8600 to schedule a consultation.
7 Steps to Prepare for Divorce
Let us look at seven of the top things to keep in mind when you’re preparing for your divorce.
1.Hire a Divorce Lawyer
The first thing you should do, and what your spouse is likely doing, is to hire a divorce lawyer. Divorce lawyers will guide you through what to expect during your divorce, as well as how to prepare for it properly. Divorce lawyers will also assist you with any paperwork and documentation that’s necessary.
When it comes down to it, a divorce lawyer will represent you in court and advocate on your behalf during the process.
2. Get Your Financial Information Together
Aside from child custody disputes, money is the number one thing that people fight over in a divorce. For that reason, it’s important to get all your financial information together, including tax returns, a list of debts and assets, and any bank account information. You should also gather information about your annual income, as well as the status of joint and individual savings and checking accounts. It is also important to obtain information regarding retirement and investment accounts, including the amount, if any, that was in the account prior to marriage.
3. Prepare a Budget for Your Post-Divorce Life
Once you have your financial information in order, it is time to start planning for life after your divorce. A big part of making plans will be creating a budget based on your income. While there might be money involved in a settlement or from alimony, it’s important to form your budget based on what you know. You can take those other things into account later.
4. Establish Your Own Credit
If you relied heavily on your spouse’s financial status and credit score, it might be necessary to establish your own credit. You’ll need your own credit if you want to take out a loan on a home, car, or even a credit card.
5. Watch Your Finances During the Proceedings
Along with planning out your finances and establishing your financial status, you should also protect your finances during the divorce proceedings. Make sure to monitor closely any joint accounts.
6. Behave Yourself
It is vital that you are on your best behavior during the divorce proceedings. This includes both inside and outside the courtroom. Divorce judges are more likely to be harsh on you if they notice lewd, indecent, or disrespectful behavior. While most proceedings are still via Zoom in metro Detroit, judges can still see your smirks, sneers or other inappropriate behavior.
Being on your best behavior also includes refraining from starting a relationship during the divorce proceedings. Showing that you have already moved on to another person isn’t a good idea, especially if there are children and custody issues involved. While it is the 21st century and the courts recognize the reality of adultery, it is still not something you will want to flaunt.
Be mindful of your communications with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Often these are used in court proceedings to document hostile or harassing behaviors. Similarly, watch what you post on social media. You might be surprised how often these posts come back to haunt a party. Simple “venting” can have serious ramifications, especially when there is name-calling or threats.
7. Plan for the Future
While it might feel like your world is crashing down and it is all coming to an end during a divorce, life will go on. It’s important to see the light at the end of the tunnel and plan for a new future after your divorce is finalized. We have seen a lot of clients through their divorces, and the easing of their tension is palpable as the process reaches a conclusion. There are a lot of unknowns as the process begins but rest assured that it will get better.
Contact the Top Divorce Lawyers in Plymouth, Michigan
At KGP Lawyers, we understand how tough going through a divorce can be. We also understand the legal challenges and obstacles you will have to overcome to get the better end of the divorce. When you contact us and hire us as your divorce lawyer, we’ll do everything in our power to help you win. We’ll also walk you through how to prepare for the proceedings and ensure that all your paperwork and affairs are in order. To get started, call our Plymouth divorce attorneys today at (734) 354-8600.