Five Things to Do Before Filing for Divorce
Legally speaking, it does not matter who files for divorce first. Still, being the first to file can work in your favor. Filing though, involves much more than just filing paperwork with the court. Before going to the courthouse and filing the complaint, there are some steps you should take that can help protect you during the process. Below are the five most important actions to take before filing for divorce so the process is as smooth as possible and that you secure favorable terms.
Make Sure You Want a Divorce
It is not uncommon for two spouses to have an argument that results in one spouse thinking they want a divorce. Once they calm down though, they may realize that they were just angry and that they do not really want to end their marriage. This may sound like a problem that has an easy fix, but that is not always the case.
Under Florida’s no-fault divorce laws, only one spouse has to want to get a divorce and if the process has already started, the spouse that did not file may decide they want to get a divorce. To ensure you do not find yourself in a situation where it is too late to stop the process, make sure you really want a divorce before filing.
Gather Financial Documentation
Much of the divorce process involves finances and the division of assets and debts. For this reason, you should gather all financial documentation, including mortgage papers, vehicle lease agreements, and banking records. After you file, this documentation is sometimes more difficult to collect.
Determine Your Goals for Child Custody
Child custody issues are some of the most contentious during divorce, so you should determine what your goals are as early as possible. There is a good chance that you will have to negotiate with your spouse on child custody decisions, so it is important to know what your goals are going into those negotiations.
Consider Where You Want to Live
You may want to stay in the marital home once the divorce is over, or you may want to move out of the home while the divorce is ongoing. Regardless of where you want to live, you have to consider all of the implications and how you will afford your home after divorce.
For example, if you stay in the family home, you will not only have to pay the mortgage but also property taxes, insurance, and regular upkeep. If you do not want to stay in the home, you will still have to find a place to live, determine if you can afford it, and even possibly what impact it could have on other terms of your divorce, such as child custody.
Call a Florida Divorce Lawyer
No one should ever go through the divorce process alone, even when it starts out fairly amicably. At Eighmie Law Firm, P.A., our knowledgeable Port St. Lucie divorce lawyers can assist with all aspects of the divorce and give you the best chance of securing a favorable settlement. Call us today at 772-905-8692 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation so we can review your case.