If you’re considering filing for divorce, make sure you don’t get ahead of yourself. Divorce can have a huge impact on your life, and it’s important to get all of your ducks in a row before you take that step. Here are six things you should make sure you do before filing for divorce in Arizona.
- Don’t threaten until you’re ready to file. It’s important to keep a level head if you’re planning on filing for divorce soon. Don’t lose sight of your goals in the heat of the moment and let this information slip before you’re ready! You need to make sure you’re set up to be in a safe, secure position before announcing your plans to file for divorce.
- Make sure you’ve established residency in Arizona. Before filing for divorce in Arizona, either you or your spouse need to have lived in the state for at least 90 days. If you recently moved to Arizona, you’ll need to wait the required time before filing. Note that either you or your spouse need to actually live in the county where you’re filing.
- Establish or improve credit in your own name. If you have some time before you have to announce your plans to file, for instance if you and/or your children aren’t in any danger, take the time you need to establish credit in your own name. Open a credit card in your own name if you haven’t already. Pull your credit report and try to resolve as many negative items as you can to improve your score. After your divorce, good credit will be invaluable to you as you get back on your feet.
- Gather important financial documents. As part of your divorce proceedings, both you and your spouse will need to provide financial documents showing your financial accounts, property, and debt. Once you file, it’s not uncommon for an amicable divorce to turn sour, and spouses sometimes make it difficult to access accounts and financial documents out of retribution. Getting all of this information together now may save you a lot of hassle later on.
- Make a plan. It’s difficult to plan for the future when you don’t know exactly what it will entail, and there’s never any telling how exactly a spouse will react to being served with divorce paperwork. It’s important to have a Plan A, a Plan B, and maybe even a Plan C in case things don’t go the way you’re hoping. Where will you go? How will you support yourself and your children, if you have any? Court proceedings can take some time, so it’s good to have a contingency plan and a support network in place for the meantime.
- Interview attorneys. As you file for divorce, it’ll be extremely important to have a good attorney looking out for your best interests. In other words, the time to look for an attorney is not when you’ve already threatened divorce and everything is falling apart. Instead, start looking for a lawyer now, while you’re reasonably stable and have more resources at hand. Interview at least three, comparing retainer fees and approaches. What is the lawyer’s policy on communication. Make sure the attorney you interview is the one who will be handling your divorce and you won’t be passed off to another attorney. You don’t want a lawyer who promises you everything will be perfect, because no lawyer can guarantee that, but you do want one whose approach jives with your own goals.
At Simon Law Group, we understand that your choice of an divorce attorney is a deeply personal decision. If you’re filing for divorce and looking for an attorney to represent you, contact us today to set a time to meet with us.