Filing for divorce is much more than simply filing a complaint with the court. Before filing for divorce, it is important that the spouse filing takes certain steps before the courts are even made aware of the divorce. The six steps below will ensure that a divorce proceeds as smoothly as possible, and that the terms you receive are most favorable to you.
Decide if You Want to Get Divorced
Although this may sound obvious, some people think that they want to file for divorce when really they are just angry at their spouse. Eventually cooler heads prevail and the spouse that filed may not want to proceed. However, in Florida only one spouse needs to want a divorce and by that time, that spouse may determine that they do want to get a divorce. To save yourself headache and heartache, make sure you and your spouse really will not reconcile before filing for divorce.
Collect All Financial Documents
After deciding that you want to go ahead with the divorce, you should gather all of the financial documents that pertain to your marriage. These can include your banking records, phone records, mortgages, and lease agreements for vehicles. Once you file for divorce these documents are sometimes more difficult to obtain, so it is best to gather these before filing.
Consider Your Custody Goals
Child custody is one of the most contentious issues in divorce because each parent wants to continue having a fair amount of time with their child. Still, it is important to determine what your goals are. Except for in extreme circumstances, a judge will likely award each parent time with the child. When considering what your own goals are, remain realistic to avoid disappointment, and to present a fair case to the judge.
Make Necessary Sales or Purchases
As soon as your divorce proceedings start, a judge will issue an order barring you and your spouse from purchasing or selling any of your assets. This is so that property can be fairly divided. If you have wanted to upgrade your vehicle for a while, or you want to sell a rental property, it is best to do it before you even file for divorce so a judge does not view the purchase or sale negatively.
Determine Where You Will Live
You may not want to remain in the marital home with your spouse after you have filed for divorce. However, moving out may also mean you risk losing the home as part of the divorce proceedings. Determine where you want to live after the divorce, and remain living there during the divorce process.
Speak to a Florida Divorce Lawyer
Even in the most amicable of situations, you should never try to go through the process without the help of a Tampa divorce lawyer. At All Family Law Group, we can advise you on your legal options during your divorce, and help you throughout the entire process. We will handle all the paperwork, and work hard to get you the fair settlement you deserve. Call us today at (813) 672-1900 to schedule your free consultation to meet with one of our attorneys.
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