Getting Ready for Divorce
For many people, the path to marriage is easier to navigate than understanding the steps to be taken toward divorce. Once the decision to divorce is made, what do you do?
Divorce is the process of dissolving the legal relationship with your spouse. Even if divorce is amicable, the process is often unsettling as you examine and divide property and parenting time under the strain of emotional upheaval.
To make agreements needed during divorce, you must know the basic facts of your living situation. If your marriage is at an end, consider these first steps to begin your divorce:
- Finances: If unfamiliar with family finances, now is the time to sharpen your understanding. Review the income of each spouse as well as expenses and debt. Gather copies of taxes, pay stubs, investment and retirement account statements and know the location and holdings of all bank accounts.
- Accounts: As soon as you know you are going to divorce, open a new account under your name only. If you have reason to believe your spouse may spend down savings or others accounts, freeze or close the accounts, including any open home equity loans.
- Think about it: If your spouse quickly makes unreasonable demands or asks for decisions you simply cannot make now, tell your spouse you need time to think about the next steps. Spouses initially disoriented by divorce may make poor agreements or give away property or important rights.
- Talk to an attorney: Speak with experienced divorce counsel immediately. Consultation with a reputable attorney builds a foundation for moving forward and provides information and support needed to protect yourself and your family.
Knowing how to start divorce is not easy. You need courage, support and the right legal resources. If you have questions about family law in Minnesota, our firm can help.