If you are thinking about getting divorced, there are some things you should figure out first. Make sure you consider the following things before you head to divorce court.

Talk to a Lawyer

This is actually one of the first things you should do. Many people hold off on hiring a divorce attorney until they actually need one, but you can benefit from talking to an attorney before you even bring up the thought of divorce with your spouse. Your attorney will not only help with the divorce proceedings, especially if it goes to court, but with filing as well. They are experienced with divorce cases of all kinds and can provide advice for handling your finances and what you should do shortly after letting your spouse know you want a divorce.

Figure Out Your Finances

Another very important thing to do before filing for divorce is figuring out your finances. If you and your spouse both earn about the same amount of money and you have separate bank accounts, it won't be as big of an issue. You can each support yourselves on your own salary. However, if you either don't earn a living or you are the only one in the household that does have employment, there are some things to consider. Make sure you figure out the following things first:

  • Can you afford to support yourself and your children?
  • Are you willing to get a job now so you are financially secure before getting divorced?
  • What assets do you currently own?
  • Do you have joint accounts or separate accounts?
  • Do you think you qualify for spousal support or will you have to pay spousal support?
  • Do you owe a lot of debt separately or together?

Gather Proper Documentation

When you file for divorce, the paperwork can seem a little overwhelming. To make the process go more smoothly, start gathering the different documentation you will need. This goes beyond basic items like your personal identification. You will need your proof of income, including pay stubs or income tax returns for the last few years. You will need to know the income of your spouse as well as yourself. You should also have documentation on any property or assets you own, all bank accounts, and any retirement accounts you have.

Get Credit in Your Name

If the only credit history you have is joint credit with your spouse, now is the time to start getting credit in your name only. Try to apply for a low-balance credit card to accomplish this. Keep the balance on your credit card low, only using it for small purchases, like paying for gas, that you can pay off every month. Try to pay the full balance or at least more than the minimum amount due.

If you have other questions about family law, contact a firm like Heritage Law Group that specializes in divorce and related areas.