Divorce Planning & Preparation: Where to Start
As a marriage ends and spouses start to consider divorce, the steps taken in the divorce planning process can be crucial to facilitating the upcoming case (and reigning in its costs).
Knowing just where to start with divorce planning, however, can be challenging, especially for those who are going through divorce for the first time.
To shed some light on this, below are some of the most important steps to take when starting to prepare for divorce in Scottsdale (as well as throughout Arizona).
While the following advice is helpful and illuminating, don’t hesitate to contact Scottsdale Divorce Attorney Karen A. Schoenau when you need specific answers related to you and your situation.Divorce Planning 101: How to get Started
Compile some important paperwork – The paperwork that will be important to gather and make copies of will be any documents related to your marital assets and/or debts. Having these documents in hand can be key to gaining a clear concept of what the marital property entails. That, in turn, can be essential to working out property division agreements later (and to making sure that an ex isn’t trying to hide assets in divorce).
Examples of some of the documents to get together include (and are by no means limited to):
- Land deeds, vehicle titles and other ownership documents
- Business-related documents
- Mortgage loan, vehicle loan and other loan documents
- Bank statements and paystubs
- Income tax returns (for a few years if possible)
- Credit card statements and other debt-related documents.
Take some steps to financially protect yourself – In other words, start saving money ASAP. It’s generally recommended that people try to save up about 6 months of living expenses when planning for divorce.
Additional steps to take when it comes to protecting yourself financially for an impending divorce1 include (but may not be limited to):
- Setting up individual bank accounts and lines of credit
- Closing joint lines of credit
- Regularly checking your credit report.
Consider whether to take additional steps to protect yourself – Depending on your situation, other steps to take could include getting a restraining order (if domestic abuse may be an issue), setting up a P.O. Box (if you need your personal mail to be going to a secure location), etc.
Think about your goals for the divorce – Specifically, start seriously considering what you want out of the divorce and what you may be willing to compromise on. Having some clear goals in mind from the get-go can expedite a divorce case, saving you time, money and stress in the process.
As you prepare to move forward with divorce, another important step to take will be to consult a divorce lawyer. Generally, it’s never too early to meet with a divorce attorney once you know your marriage is over and it’s time to move on.
That’s because, as soon as you meet with a divorce attorney, you can gain some valuable advice regarding:
- The next best steps to take in order to protect your interests and keep your case moving
- What to expect from the overall divorce process.
When you need experienced representation in an Arizona divorce, you can rely on Scottsdale Divorce Attorney Karen Schoenau. For nearly three decades, Karen Schoenau has been helping people favorably resolve Arizona divorce cases, as well as other complicated, sensitive family law cases.
To receive professional advice and learn more about how we can help you, attend an initial consultation with Attorney Karen Schoenau. Call 480-209-1918 or email us using the contact form on this page to schedule this meeting.