Divorce Preparation Guide

Though uncertainty will always be a component of everyone’s lives, many become more aware of it after discovering they are getting divorced. When you are married, you have a plan for the future; you invest in it. You and your spouse have been working toward a shared retirement dream. After you realize your marriage is ending, the image of your future becomes blurry. Understandably, this is a tough time in your life, and the emotional component can be even more challenging than the legal element. It can be the equivalent of processing a death because, in some ways, you are. 

Despite everything you are feeling, you have to continue to move forward. One step could be researching mental health therapists to speak with, asking your friends and family for help, or meeting with family law attorneys. No one is telling you “move on,” but rather to make small steps forward. The longer you avoid your issues, the more significant they may become. From a legal perspective, this is how you can prepare for the divorce process.

The Steps to Take

The first step is to consult with an attorney before doing anything. Moving out of your home with the intent of divorcing without discussing divorce with your spouse could constitute abandonment in Virginia. Typically, both spouses should be pursuing separation before either one moves out. (Other states may have their own definition of this.) Even if you and your spouse both choose to separate, you should still reach out to an attorney before moving out of the marital home. 

Another important thing is to begin preparing for your meeting with your attorney. You may arrive at your attorney’s office for a scheduled appointment, and you could have a lot of questions. 

  • How much will I pay/receive in alimony?
  • What will an “equitable” distribution of assets look like?
  • Can I keep my retirement plan? 
  • Who is going to get the house?

These are all common questions (and valid concerns), but your lawyer will likely only know the specific answers if they have many of their own. In other words, your attorney understands the law but can only apply it to your circumstances once they know more about you. To assist them and to get the answers you want, collect the following information:

  • Tax records
  • Pay stubs going back several months
  • Mortgage paperwork
  • Credit card statements
  • Bank records
  • Car titles 
  • Retirement accounts and other investments
  • Inventory of your assets 

Get in Touch with the Law Offices of Robert Dawson

The Law Offices of Robert Dawson take extensive pride in being there for our clients during one of the most challenging times of their lives. As overwhelmed as you may feel right now, focus on taking one simple step. Give us a call and schedule a consultation and allow us to work with you and for you.

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Law Office of Robert Dawson

You have more power than you realize. If you need a professional attorney who has built a reputation within employment and business law, contact the Law Offices of Robert Dawson. We are passionate about protecting our clients and pursuing their interests. Contact us for tailored legal solutions.

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