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Pre-Divorce Planning

Usually, by the time you have met with the attorney in our office, you have already tried counseling and working on your marriage. Most parties that meet with us are ready to file. For those people that have never been divorced, there may be stress in starting the divorce process. For those who have already been divorced, there may be regret about getting divorced again. 

Divorce is never easy and can be worsened by an angry or spiteful spouse. The best way to approach a divorce is to be informed and prepared. Many people who file for divorce often have no clue about the other party's finances. It is imperative that you begin to work out what assets are in your name, your spouse’s name or in both of your names. Also, you should find out what debts you have, who they are with, and how much is owed on each debt.

During the pendency of the divorce, notify the banks, charge cards, and others that you are going through a divorce and some accounts should be closed. Do not cut off utilities, cable, or stop paying ongoing bills and do not dispose or dissipate assets. The actions you take are meant to protect the marital estate, not ruin it.

Hiring an attorney is an important factor in pre-divorce planning. You should have a good rapport with your attorney and feel he/she answers your questions as completely as possible. You should also feel that your attorney is surrounded by a good team.

Discuss with your attorney the strategy for filing for divorce fìrst. There are advantages and disadvantages to this tactic, and your attorney can explain them to you.