For many people, getting a divorce is incredibly stressful. Although a divorce will be emotionally challenging regardless of how prepared you are, you can save yourself a lot of grief by being properly prepared for the legal process of a divorce. Here are some things that you should do before you get a divorce to simplify the process.
1. Save Money For The Initial Retainer
As you start the divorce process, the attorney will most likely ask for a retainer. This will probably be a good deal of money to help pay for attorney's fees up front. Remember your spouse and you will both need to hire an attorney so you should have a couple thousand dollars set aside for the initial retainer. Some attorneys won't take your business if you don't have the retainer to pay up front. You don't want to have to delay the divorce because of money.
2. Open Your Own Bank Account
Another obstacle you might face is that all your money is in a joint account. If you and your spouse are not on good terms, you could face major problems getting the money you need. This is why you should open a separate bank account with only your name on it. Over time, put money in this account to help you pay for expenses during the divorce. Until the property is divided, you may have to talk with your spouse to get money if everything is still in the joint account. For this reason, start months in advance putting money aside, then when the divorce starts, withdraw money from the joint account, if possible, and put it in your personal account.
3. Don't Abandon The House Or Your Children
In many cases the two spouses are fighting and so it is easier for one to move out, even before the divorce is final. If at all possible, you should avoid leaving the house or your children until you have a legal separation or until the divorce is final. This is to protect you. When you leave your house, you give your spouse possession over it. This means that they can change the locks and make it very hard for you to get back in. This won't be permanent, but you may have a hard time getting back in until the divorce is final.
Second, if you leave the children, it won't look good for a custody battle. The judge wants to see that you were always there to care for the children. This is why you should stay present, if possible, during the divorce.
By doing these things you can protect yourself. Talk to an attorney, like Andrew H P Norton, to learn more.