Ten Steps before Filing for Divorce

Seeking a divorce is a difficult decision, emotionally, financially and emotions. Seeking a divorce is a complicated legal matter and there are several steps you should take before filing.

Seeking a divorce is a difficult decision, emotionally, financially and emotions. Seeking a divorce is a complicated legal matter and there are several steps you should take before filing.

Step 1: Ask yourself if you are sure this is what you want

Be absolutely sure this is the path you want to take. Once you announce to your spouse you wish to divorce him or her, there are consequences to the relationship.

Step 2: Talk to an attorney today

Seek advice of a family law attorney immediately. A family law attorney will be able to explain the law, your rights and obligations under the law. Additionally, before you move out of your family home, or sign any agreements or documents, be sure to talk to a family law attorney to protect your rights.

Step 3: Do not try to do it by yourself

Getting a divorce is an expensive process. The expense of going through a divorce can tempt you to try to file on your own. Whether you own property or have children, the divorce process is not one where you want to skimp. A lawyer is a necessary expense. It is worth money in this situation to seek advice form an attorney with expertise in family law.

Step 4: Don’t move out

Do not make the decision to move out of the marital home you share with your spouse without first speaking with a family law attorney. In some jurisdictions moving out can affect your rights to alimony, child support and the home.

Step 5: Have your important documents with you

When you schedule an appointment with a family law attorney to discuss your rights, be sure to have your important financial documents with you to assess the financial situation. This should include a copy of your mortgage documents, tax returns from the past few years, your credit report and any financial documents such as a bank account.

Step 6: Be prepared emotionally

Divorce proceedings take a long time to get through the traditional process. A typical divorce takes several months. Divorce proceedings can take longer depending on the amount of assets. Children also complicate the divorce process as the parties have to agree on parenting and child support. Make sure you are prepared for long haul.

Step 7: Be prepared to be honest

Honesty is necessary in the divorce process. Be prepared to act in an honest manner with your divorce attorney, spouse and children.

Step 8: Seek counseling

Divorce is a difficult emotional process. Be sure to see a counselor so you can help to sort out your emotional issues. Divorce is not just about money. It is also about the emotional toll. Seeing a counselor can help you to deal with anger and other emotional issues.

Step 9: Consider mediation

Traditional divorce litigation takes several months. Divorce via the mediation process can be better for the parties involved because divorce is typically more collaborative. Mediation can also be less expensive that traditional litigation and less expensive.

Step 10: Be nice to your spouse

Try not to bad mouth your spouse, especially in front of the court or in front of your children. While the divorce process can be adversarial, you will likely regret the choice to say inappropriate things about your soon-to-be ex-spouse later.

These are just a few of the steps you should be prepared to take when planning a divorce. Contact a Minnesota family law attorneys today to discuss your rights.

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