You probably gave your situation a lot of thought before deciding to end your marriage, and your time investment was a wise one. Divorce is life-changing and not something to take lightly. When you move to the next stage and are ready to initiate the process, you have another opportunity to make a smart decision with proper planning. It’s essential to take a measured approach and set the proper foundation before filing. The first step is retaining an experienced Ohio divorce lawyer to represent you and protect your interests. From there, some additional To Do’s include:
- Get the big picture with respect to finances. One of the key issues in a divorce is dividing up the assets acquired and debt incurred during your marriage. Ohio’s statute on equitable distribution of assets requires that these matters be divided fairly, so you’ll need to know where you stand financially. As such, you should itemize and estimate the value of all real estate and personal property, noting any assets that are encumbered by a mortgage or loan. In addition, write down the balance due on all other debts and lines of credit.
- Set a budget for your post-divorce future. Income and expenses will be very different after divorce, so don’t wait until it’s final to establish a responsible budget. The best way to develop a plan is to work on a monthly basis, listing all income you’ll receive from work, alimony, and child support. Then, write down all expenditures, including what you might be paying for spousal and child support. Once you have totals, you’ll come up with a figure of what you can spend on non-essentials.
- Weigh your options for living arrangements. Some couples opt to remain in their family home during divorce, but it’s not always an ideal arrangement. Therefore, you’ll need to consider what makes sense for your situation, especially if you have minor children.
- Close joint credit accounts and open one in your own name. By paying off all existing credit cards, parties eliminate the possibility that one will run up huge debts during the divorce process. At the same time, get a card in your own name so you can establish good credit going forward.
- Separate divorce from other aspects of your life. Your divorce shouldn’t be some imposing intrusion on your entire life, so do your best to segment the process from your work and personal relationships. Consider it a task you need to accomplish to ensure a brighter future, and look forward instead of back.
Reach Out to a Toledo, OH Divorce Attorney for Assistance
These 5 things to do before filing for divorce are made easier when you retain skilled legal counsel as early on in the process as possible. Our divorce lawyers at Groth & Associates can advise you every step of the way, including initiating proceedings, negotiating settlement, and representing you in court. Please call 419.482.1176 or go online to set up a consultation regarding your case. We can explain more about your options after learning more about your specific circumstances.