Divorce can strike at any time of the year and leave a couple in a fog as far as what happens next. Knowing these 4 first steps will help you get through the early processes of divorce as reality begins to set in. The divorce process, contested or not, can be emotional and taxing, therefore, being prepared for a divorce is the best option that any member of the divorcing party can have.
1. Get Financially Organized
Organization in the weeks leading up to a divorce is key. This is especially important when dealing with financial organization. Financial decisions that you make during your divorce will have an impact on your children and your family as a whole from this point on.
By working with a Dallas-Fort Worth family law attorney, you will have competent help when navigating through this process. You will also have to work hand-in-hand with your current spouse to gather information like:
- Recent Federal and State Tax Returns,
- Copies of all Financial Records,
- Credit Card Statements,
- Insurance Policies.
While this process is cumbersome, having this information available is extremely helpful during the rest of the divorce proceedings.
2. Learn About the Process
Take the first couple of days after announcing that you want a divorce, to educate yourself on the process and different areas to pay attention to.
Will your divorce be contested or an agreed divorce? Is your marriage a common law marriage? What are the steps to take when dividing assets?
This information is readily available from many Texas legal resources and learning what you need to know about your specific situation is going to help make the divorce process run smoother.
3. Start Preparing for Child Custody Disputes
If you have children, start to figure out how child custody will work after the decision is final. It is a good idea to attempt creating a common agreement and then taking this to your lawyers for finalization. However, during a divorce, tensions run high, and you may find yourself in the middle of a dispute. If this is the case, and you want to be the primary caregiver, there are a few things you should be prepared to prove.
In order to make a good impression on the court at a temporary custody hearing, you will need to:
- Make sure to show up to court with verification of your income as is required by most local court rules. Usually, a pay stub with your year-to-date earnings is sufficient. Failure to show up with this documentation can get your custody case off to a bad start.
- Be prepared to show that when getting custody, you have made adequate provisions for the day care of the child and a good caregiver in your absence.
- Have a good understanding of your child’s homeroom teachers, names of doctors, shot records, when next shots are due, etc.
The more that you can prove familiarity with to the cour, the more likely the court will consider you the viable option as the primary caregiver.
4. Review Legal Representation Options
Your best bet for a successful outcome is to work with a divorce attorney that knows their business. Start to review possible family law attorneys in the DFW area right away. Consider the questions that you should ask potential lawyers and begin the interview process.
Put Your Divorce in the Hands of Marx, Altman, & Johnson
If you are facing a divorce and have questions about the process, reaching out to a trusted family attorney should be your next step. At Marx, Altman, & Johnson, we specialize in working with contested cases, child custody, child support, and more. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can make your situation manageable.