5 Steps to Take BEFORE You File for Divorce

“Once you do embark upon the separation or divorce process, it is very important to remember three key things:Be kind, be reasonable, be brief.Remember that this person will no longer be your spouse, but he or she will continue to be your co-parent, family member, and perhaps business partner in certain assets or entities.” — Laura Wasser, celebrity lawyer.

Undertaking a divorce can be difficult process, but it’s often a necessary one. For both parties, it’s often the first step to some much-needed new beginnings. If you’re considering filing for divorce, those of us at Schmidt Law want to help you out with some vital advice. . Before you officially file for a Utah divorce, consider these five important things to handle ahead of time.

Gather Key Documents

Divorces are often stressful, and it’s easy to lose important details in the emotional shuffle. Before moving forward on the path to divorce, consider getting all your proverbial ducks in a row by having all of your relevant documents ready.

Overview everything. Gather personal and shared financial records, tabulate your personal finances, and make copies of these documents. It’s easy to lose documents amidst a divorce and potential move; making copies and digital files in vital.

This applies equally to other necessary documents, including mortgage papers, property records, social security papers, taxes and receipts, and more. Preparation is key.

Save Up Funds

Even in the best of circumstances, finances become a contentious issue during and after a divorce. One spouse may lose access to certain support streams, or may find themselves with fewer funds than originally planned. Divorces cost money too, and particularly high-stress ones simply corrode cash stores.

If possible, save up enough money to cover one year’s worth of basic living expenses. This will buy you time to get started on the next chapter in your life.

If most of your money is tied up with your spouse and/or you cannot open new accounts with panicking your spouse, consider getting a credit card with a low or introductory 0% interest rate. Having access to funds means much-needed mobility.

In the event of a particularly hostile divorce, you may lose partial or total spousal support. Preparing appropriately will help avert disaster.

Sever Financial Dependence

Upon instigating a divorce, take swift action to cut as many financial ties to your spouse as possible. Your earnings are now solely yours, and you’re going to direly need them in the upcoming months. If you can afford an accountant, get one. Accountants are the experts best equipped to help you navigate these murky legal and financial waters.

Evaluate all of your credit and bank accounts and take appropriate action with each. This means separating your credit card accounts and freezing those you can’t separate; by doing this, you’ll stand to lose less funding. For shared bank accounts, take away half of the funds and move them into a personal account. Take more than half and you’ll likely hurt yourself in upcoming legal proceedings.

Monitor Your Health

The stress inherent to a divorce takes an appreciable toll on your physical and mental health. Don’t overlook this; a healthy state-of-being is integral to moving forward.

After a divorce, people lose relationships and resources in unexpected places. You may lose or have strained contact with:

  • Friends

  • Your children

  • The ex’s family members

  • Networking opportunities

Reach out to friends or a therapist early; the sooner you process your emotional health (which also impacts your physical health), the better off you will be.

Hire a Great Divorce Lawyer

Since you’ll soon be losing a support system, you need to start building a new one; this starts with your divorce lawyer.

Utah divorce lawyers, such as those of us at Schmidt Law, are specialized in guiding clients through these often trying times. We have the expertise, resources, and compassion to make the transition from marriage to divorce as seamless as possible. . Schedule a 30 minute case review with a Schmidt Law Firm divorce lawyer as soon as you decide to pursue a divorce.