Taking the decision to file for a divorce is never easy, but for many couples they know long in advance that it is coming. If you believe that divorce is on the cards for your marriage, then it is important to take some necessary steps so you are fully prepared.
If your spouse has committed adultery and you are certain that you can not save your marriage then divorce must be filed within six months of you discovering the act, if you are to use adultery as the reason. Six months is not very long for both you and your spouse to work through a whole range of emotions and come to a decision about the future of your lives together.
The moment that you think you may be heading towards a divorce is the moment that you should start looking into your paperwork. With any luck you may not ever need it and will be able to work through things with your spouse, but if you do file for a divorce then the more you have prepared the better protected you will be.
Knowing both yours and your spouse’s financial situation is the most important aspect of securing a fair divorce. Bank statements, mortgage statements, tax returns, wage slips, credit card bills and utility bills for the past three years are ideal evidence to either present to a judge or to have ready to examine during a mediation session.
It is a good idea to take copies of all of these and any other financial paperwork and to present them to your family lawyer as you start the divorce proceedings. The more evidence that your divorce lawyer has, the more he or she will be able to help you to secure what is rightfully yours when you split your finances.
Being on top of the paperwork will greatly reduce much of the stress of the divorce procedure, as it helps you to feel in control of the situation. Other things to keep in mind as a divorce comes nearer are the more practical aspects of how and where you are going to live.
Work out a Plan B for yourself, in terms of housing and finance. Not all divorce settlements can seem fair, especially if you do not have a good divorce lawyer representing you in court. Therefore if you do not have a secure job, look to find one. Get a firm grip of the housing and rental market so you know what you can afford in the worst case scenario and find out all you can about maintenance payments if you have children.
A divorce will always be a stressful process, but preparing in advance will make your life a lot easier. Don’t wait until it is too late or until you no longer have access to all the required paperwork. Keep your life and your finances in order so you are fully ready to go it alone if it comes to it.