Considering a Divorce? Critical First Steps to Take
While you may have experienced a final event that took you over the edge and convinced you that you want a divorce, it is important that you do not rush into this legal process without clear deliberation. An experienced divorce attorney can discuss the important first steps you should take before filing for divorce.
Gather financial documentation
It is important that you work on making copies of important paperwork that you probably already have in your possession. It is so much easier to do this now, rather than trying to get paperwork through litigation. It is also much cheaper.
Some documents and evidence that you should gather include the following:
- Recent pay stubs for you and your spouse
- Bank account information and balances
- Investment account information and balances
- Retirement account information
- Account information for stocks, bonds and mutual funds
- Account information and balances for other financial accounts
- A list of your separate property and pictures of it
- Deed to all real property you own, along with mortgage documents
- Most recent credit card statements
- Last three years of tax returns
- Loan documents for personal loans, vehicle loans or any other types of loans
- Values of any personal property, vehicles or businesses
- A list of your monthly expenses
You will want to keep a copy of these documents in a safe location away from the home, possibly at your attorney’s office.
Gather other evidence
Depending on your situation, you may need to gather other evidence in your case, such as:
- Your marriage certificate
- Vital records, such as your birth certificate, social security card and passport for you and your children
- Health and educational records regarding your children
- Documentation related to expenses for your children
- Documentation regarding the earning history and capacity for you and your spouse
Like with the financial documents, be sure you keep these documents in a safe place away from the family home. You may even decide to get a separate post office box so that you can request documents and receive them directly away from home.
Get legal advice
You need to know how different actions may affect your legal rights. Before taking any drastic measures like moving out of the family home or signing a separation agreement, get competent legal advice from an experienced New Jersey divorce lawyer.
Set up a temporary plan for your children
If you are at the stage where you and your spouse are talking about separation, you may want to put a temporary plan in place regarding parenting time and custody with your children. Again, talk to an experienced family law attorney for more information on your rights and responsibilities.
Contact a leading Freehold New Jersey divorce lawyer for help with your next steps
If you are contemplating a divorce, it is vital you have accurate information about this process and guidance in making decisions during this difficult time. An experienced divorce attorney at Lomurro Law can discuss your rights and objectives during a confidential consultation. Schedule a case review by calling 732-414-0300 or filling out our online contact form. We serve all of Monmouth County, including Asbury Park, Long Branch, Freehold Township and Wall Township.