Divorce is an awful thing to go through, even if it is necessary and in your overall bests interests. However, your divorce will go more smoothly if you are prepared for it. Not everyone will have this opportunity to prepare for your divorce. Sometimes, life happens and you just have to go for it, whether its a domestic violence situation or your spouse serves papers on you. If you have the opportunity to take your time however, there are a few things to do first that will make your situation go more smoothly.
1 – collect all your assets and liabilities, including potentially separate property
2 – collect important documents – do you have a prenuptial agreement? find it
3 – set up a meeting with a financial advisor (not the one you jointly use with your spouse if you share the same advisor)
4 – create a new email address with a different provider than you usually use, and come up with a completely new and unrelated password
5 – meet with your estate lawyer – you will be barred from changing your will after you file for divorce if you are concerned about physical harm because of your will or need to protect the interests of children from a previous marriage from a soon to be ex-step parent, you need to act quickly. The closest in time this change is to the divorce, the less likely it will be upheld. Again, if you use a joint estate attorney with your spouse, get a different one, and use the new email address!
6 – set aside emergency cash
7 – research divorce attorneys in your area and set up a paid consultation – they can tell you the tricks that we don’t necessarily put in writing and each of us have our own version that is specified to how we handle cases
this goes to 7a – at that meeting, learn about your judges – each judge has his or her own quirks – some counties in Middle Tennessee you can also pick your judge, other counties have multiple for each option and it will be random – this can be very important and depending on your county you may be highly prejudiced by not filing first