What to Do If You Suspect Divorce Is on the Horizon
Divorce is difficult and unpredictable. Furthermore, divorce leaves everyone in its wake emotionally exhausted, which means that you won’t have reserves of energy to accomplish the hard work that divorce demands. If you’re convinced that your marriage is finished, however, you can attend to some important tasks that will help the legal process go more smoothly:
Consult with a divorce attorney – First things first—consult with an experienced divorce attorney with whom you’re comfortable working and explain your situation. A skilled attorney will help you move in the right direction from the beginning, and will help you avoid making ill-informed decisions that cost you in the long run.
Make copies of financial documents – While you may feel the emotional effects of divorce, the legal process of divorce focuses on financial and child-related issues. To ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive what you’re entitled to, you need access to your financial documents. As divorces heat up, it often becomes more difficult to get access to such documents. Make copies of these items—including bank statements, tax returns, check registers, retirement accounts, investment statements, employee benefit documents, wills, car titles, and Social Security statements—when you still have access to them. If your spouse is self-employed, these documents can prove especially important.
Inventory your family’s possessions – Make a complete list of your family’s valuables, including furniture, jewelry, appliances, cars, artwork, and the like. If anything goes missing, you’ll have a record of its existence.
Understand your household budget, expenses, and debt – As carefully as you can, assess your household budget and expenses—including cash expenditures. In addition, have a clear understanding of your combined debt, which can be one of the most difficult factors to negotiate in divorce. If you have no credit history or a poor credit history of your own, it’s usually a good idea to start correcting that before you’re divorced.
Know what your spouse earns – If your spouse is employed, it probably won’t be difficult to ascertain what he earns (and don’t forget about bonuses). If your spouse is self-employed or owns a business, however, this information can get more complicated. Keep track of what you can, and if you suspect your spouse of concealing wages or profits, let your divorce attorney know.
Realistically appraise your own earning potential – Perhaps you gave up a career to stay home and raise your children, or supported your spouse’s pursuit of a lucrative career. In such situations, knowing your earning potential is pertinent to divorce issues such as child and spousal support.
Divorce is never easy, but you can do things to protect your rights and secure the best possible resolution of your case. Your children are obviously your first priority, and protecting your assets—in support of them—should be your second.
If You’re Facing Divorce, Consult With an Experienced Richmond, Texas, Divorce Attorney
Divorce is difficult, so before heading toward a Texas divorce, consult with a skilled divorce lawyer. The Vendt Law Firm, P.L.L.C., is committed to helping you resolve your divorce favorably and efficiently. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (832) 276-9474 or send us an email through our online contact form.