In the midst of a divorce, emotions are high and getting all of your things in order can easily fall to the wayside. If you’ve been married for a long time, it may be challenging to gather the information and documents you need to review to determine what you want in your divorce agreement. Whenever possible, planning ahead is always advised to ensure you’re well prepared and have ample times to negotiate what you need to make the divorce final. Here are the top four items most people forget when filing an uncontested divorce.
1. Collect your financial documents. Divorce cases often come down to reviewing the paperwork to substantiate requested amounts in child support or spousal support. This extends to bank statements, mortgage bills, investment accounts, retirement pensions, etc. Before filing a divorce, gather as much of this information as possible. The best rule of thumb is to have at least five years on hand to show a historical trend. Whenever possible, make additional copies of all financial records in case the originals get misplaced or your spouse refuses you access to them later.
2. Develop a support network of friends and professionals. Divorce is an emotional rollercoaster. It never hurts to have a group of supportive friends, family members, co-workers or therapists to reach out to throughout the entire process. Even with an uncontested divorce, it is helpful to be able to talk about your feelings, concerns, or goals with others. Finding local divorce support groups in your area can also be an effective way to build a network of others around you who have experienced similar challenges.
3. Reflect and determine your divorce goals. This is an important task that gets left for last, when it should be one of the first things you do. Having in mind what you are striving for with the divorce can help you better communicate with your attorney and better negotiate the terms of your divorce agreement. If you have children, reflect on what the ideal custody arrangement may look like. This is also a good time to consider your spending habits or cost of living and determine what you may need to do after the divorce. Would you need to take on a second job, relocate, cut back on hours to better take care of children, etc. All of these items will impact your life post-divorce and should be carefully thought through before you are in the midst of a divorce.
4. Shop around to find a lawyer that fits well with you. When it comes to lawyers we often go with a recommendation – and this is okay. It is important, however, to also be willing to interview at least three family law attorneys to find one that fits well with your personality and can understand your goals. If you want to pursue an uncontested divorce, but the lawyer you were recommended prefers that you do a contested divorce, then take this into account. Finding a lawyer that makes you feel comfortable and that has extensive experience with similar divorce situations is key to making sure your divorce is handled with the utmost care.
Whether you’re trying to navigate the divorce process on your own or looking for trusted counsel to help you along the way, the Family Law Attorneys at Wilson Brown Law, LLC are happy to help. Specializing in uncontested divorces, their friendly and understanding legal team can schedule a complimentary divorce consultation for you today. Give them a call at 210-787-4637 to get started.