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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.

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Client testimonials
  • "Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.

  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.


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