Couples deciding to divorce begin preparing for divorce mostly by looking for information on the legal process in the courts and divorce laws. The truth is that preparing for divorce should begin before the decision to dissolve the marriage is even made.
Yes, seeing an attorney for information on the legal process, on what rights you have from the marriage as to children and property, and what options you have besides fighting it out in court are extremely important. But theres a lot of information you will need that has nothing to do with the divorce process itself but that may determine the outcome of many issues.
Knowing how to prepare before even seeing an attorney will also make the process of choosing an alternative for the divorce a lot easier. For example, being prepared before there is ever talk about divorce will let you weigh the options with an attorney as to how likely you are to succeed on a particular issue in court versus resolving it through mediation or collaborative law.
If it looks like divorce litigation is on the horizon for you, preparing and having documentation ready will also cut down on the cost of having to get copies of important documents through your attorneys assistance in getting them from third parties or forcing your spouse to produce it.
Even if divorce litigation is not likely, this kind of preparation will let you get the most of your first consultation with an attorney. Thats because you will have the ability to look for information elsewhere before you sit down for a consultation with an attorney about your divorce. If you are willing to spend some time to prepare yourself for your first meeting with an attorney, you will know what specific questions to ask regarding your situation, and get a better sense of what you need to do and the context or reasons for doing it.
With states providing divorce forms, many people prefer to try doing their own divorce. This may make sense if you and your spouse have no property or children. Otherwise, if youre thinking of doing the divorce yourselves, without an attorney, preparation will be even more important.
If you have children, preparing for a custody fight is not something to be left until there is talk of divorce or the divorce is filed.