If you’ve finished your soul searching and have come to the difficult decision that it’s time for a divorce, there are some steps you can take that will leave you better prepared to move forward with confidence. The first step on this journey is to consult with an experienced Tampa family law attorney.
Organize Your Finances
Once you file for divorce, you can expect things to become more hectic – at best. This means that you’ll likely have a more difficult time gathering all the financial documentation you will need to protect your financial rights throughout your divorce, which is critical. This is especially important if your spouse is more involved in your family’s financials than you are. Whatever your situation is, having your finances organized from the outset will serve as a leg up going forward.
Toward this end, make copies of all of the following:
- Your mortgage
- You and your spouse’s paystubs
- Your credit card bills
- Your household bills
- Your checking and savings accounts
- Loan documents and payment plans
- You and your spouse’s retirement benefits and accounts
- Your financial portfolio, including all financial instruments
- Vehicle titles, including recreational vehicles
- Information related to any items of value, including art and/or jewelry
These documents (and any others that are relevant) will provide you with an overall view of your marital assets, which – in turn – will help ensure that these assets are divided between you equitably.
Pinpoint Your Priorities
Before you get into the thick of a divorce, it’s a good idea to pinpoint your priorities, so they don’t become lost in the process. The fact is that divorce is often so stressful and upsetting that it’s easy to lose your way. Many divorcing couples had battled over terms on principle alone – when one or the other of them wasn’t all that invested in the matter. This is more a function of divorce than anything else, but it can make the negotiating process less arduous when you’re clear on your priorities. In every circumstance, assure that your family attorney is always updated so that they can guide you on the next processes to take.
The Major Elements of Your Divorce
Every divorce follows its own unique course, and no two are exactly alike, but every divorce includes the following elements (as applicable):
- The equitable division of your marital property (property that you acquired together as a married couple)
- Your child custody arrangements
- Child support
- Spousal maintenance, which many people call alimony
One or more of these categories may be your primary focus, or you may have priorities within specific categories. Better understanding your priorities can serve as leverage during divorce negotiations.
Divorce is full of surprises, and there is no way of knowing if your divorce will proceed in the same manner that it began. However, by preparing ahead of time, you do what you can to ensure that your divorce proceeds as steadily as possible. Mark G. Rodriguez at the Law Office of Mark G. Rodriguez, P.A., in Tampa is a dedicated and compassionate family law attorney committed to helping you achieve divorce terms that work for you. Your case is important, so please don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at 813-227-9642 today.