Your Pre-Divorce Checklist

woman writing on paper on a table

Once you have concluded that it’s time to end your marriage, you must head onto the next phase of preparing for divorce. Many people believe that the first step is filing for divorce. However, there are many things you should do before filing to protect yourself, your finances, and your future.

Item 1: Speak with an Attorney

First, it’s important to find the attorney that is the best fit for you. You’ll want to pay attention to the potential attorney’s experience, credentials, and other qualifiers. Additionally, you want to make sure you connect with the attorney you choose. Divorce is an emotional process, and you want to feel comfortable with the attorney you hire to be by your side through it all.

Another benefit of speaking with a divorce attorney is that they have seen and handled numerous cases and can provide important guidance to you about what should be done before beginning the divorce process. This way, you can start off on the best foot.

Item 2: Save Money

Divorce isn’t cheap. Before starting the process, make sure you are financially stable and able to afford the additional costs of divorce.

  • Adhere to a strict budget
  • Plan for future costs
  • Open a separate bank account
  • Consider cheaper methods of divorce, like alternate dispute resolution or mediation

Item 3: Do Your Research

You’ll want to go into your divorce proceedings with as much knowledge as possible. It’s beneficial to have a strong understanding of the process, what you can expect, possible outcomes, applicable laws, and more. Your attorney will be able to fill in the blanks in your knowledge, but you’ll feel more confident and secure if you’ve done a good bit of research independently.

Item 4: Get Organized

You want to go into your divorce with an in-depth understanding of your assets, including finances like bank account balances, any debt, etc., as well as tangible assets like cars, homes, and more. Gather financial information so that you know the value of your assets. As you go through this process, take note of what was yours before the marriage.

Item 5: Consider Living Arrangements

It may be hard to make a definitive plan for this, but begin thinking about possible living arrangements. Will you be able to stay in your apartment/house? If not, do you have family or friends nearby to stay with? If you believe you’ll need to move out into a new place, begin looking for rentals locally.

If you and your spouse will be ending your marriage on good terms, you may be comfortable remaining in the same residence as them until one of you is able to move out.

Item 6: Prepare Emotionally

Even if you are the one initiating and wanting the divorce, it’s still natural that this will be an emotional experience. Prepare to feel some difficult feelings along the way, and begin thinking of ways that you can cope over the weeks or months following your divorce.

Item 7: Begin Thinking About Your Children

If you and your spouse share children, you should begin thinking about how the divorce may affect them.

  • Breaking the news: You will want to pick a good place and time to tell your children about the divorce.
  • Emotionally: Depending on the age of your children, they may have a strong emotional reaction to your divorce. Be prepared to help them through this transition in a healthy way.
  • Living situation: Consider what type of custody you want to pursue, custody arrangements, and potential visitation schedules.

Dallas Divorce Lawyers

If you are ready to take the first steps to a fresh start, contact our divorce attorneys at DebnamRust, P.C.. Our team can help you get everything in order for your divorce and advocate for your best interests throughout the process.