So you decided to go through with divorce. No doubt you have many questions and chief
among them are what steps can you take to prepare yourself and improve your legal standing in starting the divorce process. When a client walks through our door who hasn’t been served with divorce papers yet or is considering filing themselves, we strategize on the best steps they can take to get started on the right foot. Here are 5 general tips everyone should consider before they file for divorce in Utah.
Do the Financial Calculations
Discuss with a lawyer what your life financially will look like after a divorce. You should plan much like you would with a financial advisor and how to maintain or improve your financial circumstances post divorce. Often, people will fight like crazy to hang onto a house or other asset only to realize later it made no financial sense to keep it. For instance, if your house is under water, you own a debt, not an asset, would you be better off handing it over to your spouse with no strings attached? The point is you need to fully understand your financial picture and what makes the most sense to pursue in the divorce. Everyone should execute a financial declaration detailing all of their income, expenses, assets, etc. so they know exactly what they can afford in terms of child support, alimony, and other matters.
Organize Before You Break the Ice
Everyone about to enter a divorce should organize their life and structure their legal position with an attorney prior to telling their spouse they wish to terminate the marriage and prior to filing for divorce. We are not telling you to hide assets or lie about anything. Quite the contrary because in truth, most lies or coverups will inevitably be exposed through the discovery phase of the litigation. Rather, meet with a Utah Divorce Lawyer at Salcido Law Firm and prepare a game plan to help improve your legal position both financially and with regards to issues such as custody etc. prior to launching full steam ahead in the divorce.
Make sure you have a support network of friends and family who can help get you through the hard times ahead. Letting others know your situation who you trust and will be supportive can be key. Your Salt Lake City Divorce Attorney at our office will cover the legal basis of your case but you will inevitably need emotional support from those you are most close with.
The worst thing a person can do before a divorce is filed is allow a bad situation to escalate into a fight. If you have a protective order filed against you, it will be difficult to get the divorce that follows started on the right foot. Protective orders and domestic violence can carry long term consequences to your custody rights. Avoid contention entirely. Do not allow your spouse to egg you on into a conflict. Remove yourself from the home if necessary.
The status quo will be big factor in a judges decision on many potential issues. If it is possible to stay in your home and avoid contention, you should. If you leave the house, you may have a weak argument when asking for it back. Same with the kids. If you separate and leave the kids behind, that could impair your custody rights. Staying in the home and having as much time as possible with the kids can demonstrate a status quo and improve your chances of getting both.