The process of finalizing a divorce is overwhelming, and there's a lot at stake for both parties. If you're contemplating ending your marriage, there are certain precautions you can take in the meantime that will make the process more peaceful and equitable. These steps can also maximize your chances of achieving a favorable outcome.
Retaining the right attorney is half the battle. Before you decide to file for divorce, you want to interview several attorneys to choose one who understands your goals, has a track record of achievement, and fits your style. Each attorney has their own respective level of experience and price point. If you predict that your divorce is going to be contentious, prioritize finding an attorney who is qualified for your particular case.
Identify Your Goals for Custody
Child custody cases are almost always the most emotionally charged aspect of a divorce. In ordinary cases - that don't involve abuse, domestic violence, substance issues, etc. - it's likely that you and your spouse will end up sharing joint custody of the children. In order to stay ahead of the game, try to assess your work schedule, your children's schedule, your spouse's schedule, and other relevant obligations to craft an ideal custody plan. If you can come up with a reasonable arrangement that gives you and your spouse appropriate time with your child(ren), you'll be ahead of the game.
Gather Financial Documents
Divorce proceedings and outcomes rely heavily on documentation. This is why it's important that you keep a record of financial documents, like bank account information, mortgage information, car notes, phone records, and other relevant information. Gathering most, if not all, of this information prior to filing for divorce will save yourself a headache in the future. The reality is, many spouses do not react well to being served with divorce papers, and some may choose to restrict access to financial documents and other important information out of spite.
Draft a Balance Sheet
A marital balance sheet with your property, cars, retirement accounts, bank accounts, mortgages, credit cards, and other debts will give you a picture of what you and your spouse will split. Having a clear idea of the debts and assets you share with your spouse will help you come up with reasonable and attainable financial goals. Also, knowing your total amount of assets can help you budget the fees of retaining a good attorney and navigating divorce litigation.
New Jersey Family Law Attorney
Divorce cases are unpredictable. But you can gain some control of your circumstances by taking steps to make the appropriate preparations and hiring the right family law attorney. Joseph D. Lento of the Lento Law Firm is here to help you get through your divorce with minimal issues. For more information or for a consultation, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today at 888-535-3686.