Divorce is one of those things that most people can see coming. It is rarely a surprise, and most of the time, the relationship has been breaking down for months or years. Some couples try counseling, others try waiting it out to see if things get better, and others just grow apart slowly over time. Either way, once it comes time for divorce, there are five things you absolutely want to get taken care of first:
1. Consult a Professional
This is pivotal, in more ways than one. Divorce can be as quick or as slow as you and your spouse make it. Make sure that you are not signing anything without your lawyer or financial professional looking over it first. It may seem easy to just sign over documents that have been prepared already by your spouse or their lawyer, but you may be losing a lot of assets and rights that you don’t realize you’re giving up. Do not allow yourself to be pressured or bullied into signing something you are uncomfortable with. Allow your legal professional to go over and explain what you’re signing first.
2. Gather Your Financial Information
Check all of your bank accounts, safes, safety deposit boxes, and financial portfolios to make sure that your spouse has not tampered with any of your funds. The faster you do this at the start of the divorce process, the faster that you can make sure that you know exactly what your financial situation is. You will also want to make sure that you and your spouse have equal access to your financial documents, like mortgage information, tax statements for both of you, your bank account numbers and logins (for joint accounts), and so forth. Sometimes, this may require filing a motion with the Florida court to force your spouse to release certain financial documents. A Florida divorce lawyer can you with that motion and provide you the information on what to search for.
3. Restraining Orders are an Option
Any threat of violence, no matter how small, is too much. You may want to consider a restraining order if your spouse threatens you with violence to agree to their terms or sign the divorce papers, or threatens violence in any way. If there has been a history of violence in the past, then this step may need to come sooner. Restraining orders can also help protect any minor children that the spouses share, and can allow you to keep living in your own home, safe, while the divorce goes through proceedings.
4. Call a Florida Divorce Lawyer
Handling a divorce on your own is a risky, and oftentimes costly, move. Your local Florida divorce lawyer can assist you with the entire divorce process, as well as help you find out exactly where your funds are and help out with parenting plans when minor children are involved. Not only that, but an experienced, knowledgeable Florida divorce lawyer can help fight for your assets, property, and rights during the entire divorce process.