1) Focus on Your Kids
Once you realize that divorce may be the only option for your marriage, it is easy to turn all of your focus to researching options, collecting documents, meeting with attorneys, and so on. Even though these activities are very important and a necessary part of the process, you must try to put your children first. They will suffer the most out of all parties, but you can try to make it as smooth as possible for them. Try to keep their routines as normal as you can and take arguments to a private place. Children need and deserve the love and attention of both parents as much as possible before, during and after divorce.
2) Consult with an Attorney
It is crucial to become educated about your legal rights and responsibilities as soon as possible so that you can prepare. An experienced Phoenix divorce attorney will be able to counsel you based on your individual situation. Set up consultations with a few divorce lawyers so you can choose the one that you’re most comfortable working with, and who would represent you the best. Explore the potential costs and ask them questions about successful cases.
3) Protect Your Assets
The more you know about the value of your shared assets, the better off you are. Create a list of major household items and family possessions, such as furniture, artwork, large appliances, cars, and jewelry.
4) Create Copies of Important Documents
Go through your household files and make copies of important documents, such as tax returns and statements from your bank, investments, retirement, life insurance, credit cards, and social security. Also copy any car titles, mortgage documents and other asset documentation.
5) Determine Family Debt
One of the toughest things to negotiate in a divorce is allocation of marital debt. This is more common now than determining how to allocate assets. Remember that your combined income will have to start supporting two households instead of one.
Determine the total amount of combined debt and consider paying it down as much as possible before filing for divorce. Try to reduce credit cards and lines of credit, closing them if possible. While doing this, determine what debt was incurred by each spouse prior to marriage.
6) Determine Financial Needs for the Future
Document your normal household expenses, such as utilities and your mortgage. Keep track of cash expenditures and regular purchases to be able to ascertain a budget.
This information will be important at the beginning of the case, when temporary support may be an issue, as well as during settlement, when discussing your financial situation and needs.
7) Create a Support Network
It is easy to feel alone when going through a divorce—but you don’t need to. Start reaching out to others who have been through divorce and ask for advice. Get together with friends and family members who can help you through the process, either by listening or assisting you or your kids when needed. Consider a therapist to help you focus your emotions and the impact of the break-up. Look for support groups of others going through a similar situation.
These 7 steps are just a few of the important considerations for a divorce in Arizona. Remember that Simon Law Group of AZ is available 24 hours a day to answer any questions – just call 480-745-2450.