Once you have made the decision to get a divorce, you are going to have your work cut out for you. First, if your spouse is not already aware of your decision, you should have a discussion prior to serving him or her with divorce papers. Going about your divorce in as civil a manner as possible will go a long way in terms of securing a favorable outcome in your settlement, so if this is possible for your situation, do your best to approach your spouse with respect. If you have children, you will also have to break the news to them as gently as possible, especially since they will have a much more difficult time coping with this situation.
Gather Important Financial Documents
After you have told your spouse and family members about your divorce, you should begin collecting important financial documents for your divorce attorney. Doing so will help speed up the divorce process and save you some money since your attorney will not have to do the leg work for you. That said, if you have any trouble locating certain documents, you can rely on your lawyer to obtain them for you.
Some of the most vital documents you should try to collect on your own include:
- Your tax returns for the past three years
- Documents related to your insurance policies
- Real estate deeds
- Pay stubs
- Retirement account statements
- Investment account statements
- Household bills
- Proof of income for both you and your spouse
- Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, if you have one
- Credit card statements
- Personal property appraisals
- Wills or trusts
Of course, every case is different, so your attorney will let you know what other documents you might need to acquire.
It might sound difficult, but it is in your best interests to remain in the marital home, especially if you have children until your divorce is finalized. Moving out of the marital home prior to the divorce being finalized can affect a variety of issues in your divorce decree, so if your relationship is amicable enough, you might want to stay for a while and work on a plan for how the family will transition into two separate households. Staying in the marital home will also give you two a chance to learn how to co-parent as divorced spouses. However, make sure you set clear boundaries in order to avoid unnecessary confrontations.
Contact a Divorce Attorney Today!
One of the most important steps you should take after making the decision to get a divorce is to hire a divorce attorney to handle your case. Divorce is a complicated and emotional process that can easily go wrong without the assistance of a professional, so to ensure the best possible outcome, hire a knowledgeable attorney. At Zisser Family Law, our Jacksonville divorce lawyer has the insight and experience to effectively represent your case and protect your interests.
Reach out to us at (904) 395-2044 to schedule a case review with our trusted attorney. You do not have to endure this experience on your own!