Marriage can be hard, and for many people, getting a divorce is the best option for both parties moving forward. To ensure that your interests are protected, take some preliminary planning steps. Here's what to do before filing for divorce.
Think About Your Goals
There are few different methods for pursuing a divorce. You can seek a collaborative divorce, you can try mediation, or you can file for divorce in the typical manner. The route that you choose and how you proceed should be dependent upon your ultimate goal in seeking a divorce. If you have children, this may affect your objectives.
Document Individual and Joint Assets
Before you file for divorce, you’ll want to get a clear idea of your financial picture. Review any personal assets and income, as well joint revenues and assets. Shared assets determine the following.
- Dividing property
- Determining a spousal maintenance amount
- Child support payments
This step in the process is also a good time to start thinking about Washington’s community property laws. Mainly, community property laws address things that you accumulate during the marriage vs. what you brought into it from before your time together.
Leave Money in Joint Funds for Now
If you’re thinking about filing for divorce, you may believe that you need to act quickly to recover money from your joint account. However, taking money from a joint account is an action that’s reserved for the divorce planning process, and usually occurs right at filing time.
Start Finding Your Spouse’s Assets Now
It might sound awful, but many spouses will try to hide assets when they hear that divorce papers have been filed. To protect assets during divorce, uncover as many as your spouse’s assets prior to filing. Doing so can help shield you from underhanded tactics, and may be crucial in getting you a settlement amount you deserve.
Research Divorce Attorneys Near You
The earlier that you start researching a divorce attorney, the more prepared you’ll be when it comes time to file. An attorney can represent your interests and negotiate on your behalf. An attorney can also help you file accurately.
At the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny, we are prepared to help you understand the many steps that are required both pre-filing and post-filing of divorce papers. To learn more about what you’ll need to do when thinking about divorce, contact us at 425-460-0550.