Separation and Divorce: Where Do I Start?
When contemplating separation and divorce, a multitude of questions converge. The task at hand seems impossibly large. Here is a method of arranging the steps to ease the stress of starting your divorce.
- Collect and preserve information. Copy one year of statements for all accounts, including mortgage, credit cards, loans, bank/investment accounts, retirement and life insurance. Copy three to five historical tax returns with all attachments.
- Review cash reserves. Familiarize yourself with current finances. Look for funds in a bank account or investment account which would enable you to establish a new residence.
- Consider new living arrangements (but don’t commit yet). Think about where you and your spouse will live after separation. Who should retain the house? However, do not impulsively commit to a lease or agreement to purchase a new residence until you speak with an attorney.
- Interview divorce attorneys. Seek referrals from trusted friends or co-workers who have divorced. What did he or she like most (or least) about the attorney? Talk to potential attorneys to find one who can develop a strategy for your future.
- Make custody your first step. For most divorcing parents, custody of children is the most frightening step of a separation. This anxiety can be minimized if you and your spouse are able to develop a custody schedule and share decision making. Once custody is resolved, both parties feel more comfortable working through other issues.
Separating from your spouse doesn’t have to derail your finances, your emotions or your family. Speak with a qualified divorce attorney by calling us today at (412) 471-9000 or fill out our online contact form to discuss the best options for your future. Read more about preparing for divorce on our blog.