Ask a Divorce Attorney: 8 Crucial Steps to Take When Filing for Divorce

When filing for divorce, it can be difficult to know what to do first. The process can be taxing, unpredictable, and lengthy. When filing for divorce in Sugar Land, TX, there are steps you can take to prevent excessive financial and emotional turmoil. It pays to be prepared, so if you’re planning to break the news to your partner, consider these crucial steps from a divorce attorney first.

Ask a Divorce Attorney: 8 Crucial Steps to Take When Filing for Divorce in Sugar Land, TX

1. Seek Legal Assistance

We can’t stress enough how important it is to align yourself with an experienced lawyer when filing for divorce. Not only can they help you to navigate the complex legal system, but they will be able to represent your needs in terms of your finances, children, shared home and property, and more. It is advisable to consult with an attorney prior to taking any steps toward divorce. Expert legal aid can expedite the process of divorce and help you attain favorable results.

2. Create a Network of Support

Aside from legal assistance, the support of your friends and family is critical to navigating the process of divorce. This is a challenging time, and you will need the support of your social network to get you through the emotional ups and downs of divorce. If there are children involved in your separation, it’s imperative that you have outside sources of support so you can avoid asking your children to do any emotional labor, as they are also learning to cope with the situation.

3. Prepare Your Documents

Before you’ve hired a divorce attorney in Sugar Land, TX, you may want to take some time to organize your documents. There’s a lot of paperwork to be filled out in the preliminary steps of a divorce. The better your papers are organized, the less time your lawyer will need to go through them. If financial stress is one of your primary concerns, having well-prepared documents is a good way to minimize some of the costs associated with divorce.

4. Build a Financial Plan

While divorce impacts most aspects of your life, your finances are one of the areas where you may experience the greatest challenges. Losing the financial support of your spouse can leave you in a rough place financially if you’re unprepared. In addition to saving up 3 months worth of financial resources and creating a post-divorce budget for yourself, we recommend:

  • Avoiding unnecessary spending
  • Reducing debt where possible
  • Exercising care when using money from joint accounts

Additionally, it can be wise to apply for your own credit card if you don’t already have one. Once you’ve filed for divorce, it’s likely that your spouse may no longer grant you access to any shared credit cards.

5. Consider Your Living Situation

When you file for divorce, it may be confusing to determine whether you should continue to live in your shared home. Moving out of a shared home may impact the court’s decision over homeownership, so consulting with an attorney prior to making any decisions in regards to your living situation is advised. If your home is unsafe, however, you’ll need to secure new living arrangements prior to filing for divorce.

6. Consider Your Custody Plan

If you have children, a divorce is going to impact them no matter how cautious you are. It’s important to mitigate the damage as much as possible, and one way to do this is to leave your children out of the creation of the custody agreement. It may be tempting to ask your children to take sides, but you are the adult and you need to carefully consider what is best for your children. Of course, the court will weigh in, but having your own informed ideas first can be helpful.

7. Be Mindful of Your Actions

During divorce proceedings, your words and actions will be put under a microscopic lens to determine the outcomes of many life-impacting decisions. Being on your best behavior is advisable during a divorce, tempting as it may be to play dirty. Be mindful of how you speak of your ex-spouse, exercise caution when dealing with any shared property, and include them in any decision-making regarding your children. Dating during divorce is also not advisable.

8. Find a Marriage Counselor

Just as an attorney is essential to a successful legal battle, a marriage counselor is essential for navigating the emotional turbulence of divorce. Being mindful of your behavior can be challenging when going through a time of heightened emotions. A licensed marriage counselor can help you to work through these challenging emotions in a productive way so you can come out of your divorce process on top.

Divorce undoubtedly requires a lot of effort, patience, and personal adjustment. By planning ahead, you can take the proper steps to protect yourself and ensure your divorce process runs as smoothly as possible. Enlisting the support of your family, friends, a good attorney, and a counselor, you can increase the probability of a favorable outcome.