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The first step someone should take when contemplating a divorce is to find the right lawyer. Make sure that you have someone who is competent and qualified, that can be aggressive, if need be, but can also work toward an amicable resolution with the other lawyer. As you can imagine, divorce can be expensive, so it is always good to have an attorney by your side who has an arsenal of tools that can both save you cost and get your divorce resolved in an expedited fashion, if necessary.
The second step, when contemplating filing for divorce, is understanding that information and knowledge are power. And the best way to achieve that is to prepare yourself. Be ahead of the game. Find out the information that you need to know. Among other things, you need to understand the extent of your assets. It is amazing how, once you file for divorce, documents can disappear. Copy your important documents, go into the filing cabinet, and run copies of statements to make sure you have a full grasp of the assets that are going to be divided during your divorce.
The third step, when considering filing for divorce: have a plan. You need to understand that once you file for divorce, it is very rare that two people can continue living together under the same roof. Consider the following questions: Where are you going to go? Where are you going to stay? How are you going to come up with money to pay your daily expenses, your living expenses and your attorney’s fees? Those are things you have to consider prior to filing for divorce. If you go off on a whim and file for divorce and those things have not yet been figured out, you could be in big trouble.
The fourth step when contemplating divorce, especially if you have children, is that you need to come up with a safety plan. What does this mean? Again, as with the previous step, you need to know where you are going to stay. You need to know who you can trust and who you can rely on in the event of a domestic violence situation. You need to have a plan to ensure that you protect yourself and you protect your children, first and foremost, as you initiate divorce.
Lastly, the fifth step when preparing to file for divorce, which may not apply to everyone, though it should always be recommend nonetheless, is to seek counseling. Counseling will help you to not sweat the small stuff. In the end, it is sweating the small stuff that will cost you extreme amounts of money, and it is the small stuff that is going to cause undue stress on you and your lawyer. As a result, counseling is never a bad idea and everybody could use it. By talking about the issues, counseling can help you through this very difficult and long upcoming divorce process.
There is no manual or play book on filing for divorce, though hopefully these first 5 steps will give you a starting point. Now, if you go out there and make the tough decision to file for divorce, you will be fully informed and will know to remember to always find the right lawyer! You will need someone that will stand in your corner, and stand by your side, as you go through this very difficult process.