Getting a divorce is not something that should be done without properly planning ahead of time. In order to avoid problems down the road, planning a divorce with an experienced divorce attorney is recommended. There are many questions that require great deal of consideration at the beginning of divorce proceedings. The outcome of a divorce – and the parties means of protecting themselves, their children and their assets – depends upon how these questions are dealt with. Working with the right divorce lawyer, regarding the following issues are important steps in the planning and preparation that must happen when divorce is on the horizon.
Assets, Debts and the Division of Both
When preparing for a divorce, experienced divorce attorneys assert that it is essential for each spouse to know all of their marital assets, financial information, and existing debts. Each should have access to financial accounts and records, and collect copies of those records to facilitate the divorce process once it is time to discuss the issue of marital property division.
It is also recommended that each party begin dividing their non-marital assets on their own before filing for divorce, to make the process a bit easier. Non-marital assets are basically any type of property that belonged to a party before the marriage. These assets remain their property even after marriage. This usually includes property that was previously owned, inheritances, gifts made specifically to one spouse, business and legal proceedings prior to the marriage, and other types of property.
Gathering receipts and paperwork proving that only one spouse, and not the married couple, owns those assets may be essential in this process. In any case, separation of non-marital assets, and preparation for the division of marital assets and marital debt can be time-consuming and complex, so it is essential to enlist the assistance of a skilled divorce lawyer.
Practice Good Behavior
Accomplished divorce attorneys say that during the time between when the decision is made to divorce and the divorce is actually granted, each party must exercise their best behavior for the best outcome. Any examples of poor judgment or improper conduct can be used against a spouse in a divorce decision – especially where children are concerned, or large amounts of marital assets must be divided. Each party should assume they are being watched at all times, until the divorce is final, and avoid any questionable behavior that could be used against them.
Drugs, alcohol, arrests or legal trouble of any kind, engaging in relations with someone new before the divorce is final, and even exercising poor judgment on social media must all be avoided to present the most favorable and responsible picture once it becomes time to actually finalize the divorce.
Documenting and Discussing Parenting Concerns
When children are involved, a divorce can be much more complex. Divorce attorneys suggest that parents begin to list their concerns regarding parenting and bringing up their children in a divorce situation. They should also write down any visitation questions so all of this can be discussed ahead of time. Coming up with a good parenting plan to present to the judge at the time of the divorce is important. This process starts by determining the main concerns well in advance of the final proceedings.
Obtaining the most favorable outcome in a divorce process, means proper planning so there are no surprises, and no reason to fight, or prolong the proceedings. Working with a divorce lawyer who can offer advice on these and other ways to prepare for a smooth divorce is suggested. An experienced divorce attorney can make the difference between a calm, civil divorce, versus one where spouses end up stressed over important topics that were overlooked at the beginning of the process!
Garza & Elizondo, LLP
680 East St. Charles St, Suite 600
Brownsville TX 78520
1393 East Alton Gloor Blvd, Suite 12
Brownsville TX 78526