Divorce Planning 101: 5 Steps to Take before Filing for Divorce
Steps to Take before Filing for Divorce
While getting divorced can be the start of a new chapter, the divorce process can be complicated and challenging, especially when couples cannot agree on the issues of their divorce.
Regardless of how amiable or contentious the end of a marriage may be, however, taking some time to plan for divorce – and carry out certain steps ahead of time – can help people protect their interests moving forward. In some cases, the right divorce planning may even facilitate a future divorce case.
What to Do before Filing for Divorce
Compile financial documents – These documents include (but may not be exclusive to) bank statements, mortgage documents, other loan documents, retirement account statements, business documents, bills, etc. Once these documents have been compiled, make copies of them and be sure to retain them for your own records. Once a partner learns of the impending divorce, it may be difficult to get ahold of these documents later.
Inventory the marital property – After gathering important financial documents, another important step in the divorce planning process is to get a clear idea of what constitutes the marital property (as dividing this property will be central in the upcoming divorce). So, develop an inventory that includes all property, including assets and debts (not already accounted for in the above step), acquired in the marriage. If possible, try to include ownership documents (like titles, deeds, etc.) with the inventory.
Close joint lines of credit – This includes all credit cards or other lines of credit shared with a partner. Even if there is still outstanding debt on these lines of credit, closing them ASAP can prevent a partner from running up more debt prior to (or after finding out about) the divorce.
Develop a budget and save money – Divorce can be costly, especially if the process takes some time to resolve. If, however, you are financially prepared to deal with divorce – because you have set up a realistic budget for yourself (based on a single income) and/or because you have been saving money, getting through divorce can be far easier. In general, it’s recommended to save at least six months of living expenses when preparing for divorce.
Consult an attorney – This can be the most important step to take before filing for divorce because a lawyer can evaluate your situation and explain your best options for protecting your interests as you move forward. A lawyer can also help you avoid common and costly divorce mistakes so that you are able to obtain the best possible outcome to your divorce case.
Contact a Denver Divorce Lawyer at Katherine Grier, P.C.
When you need effective, experienced representation in Colorado divorce, contact the Denver divorce lawyer at Katherine Grier, P.C. by calling (303) 539-5435 or by sending us an email via the contact form on this page. We are ready to help you resolve your important family legal issues as favorably and efficiently as possible.
From our location in Denver, our attorney provides the highest quality representation to those in Denver, Englewood, Centennial, Aurora, Arvada, Westminster, Parker, Castle Rock, Lone Tree, Highlands Ranch, Golden, Brighton, Broomfield, Lakewood and throughout the state of Colorado.