5 Steps to Take Right Away If You’ve Decided to End Your Marriage
Ending your marriage will probably be one of the most difficult things you ever have to do. Consequently, it’s natural to drag your feet. If you’ve decided to proceed with divorce, though, there are certain steps you should take right away to protect yourself and ensure the process will be as stress-free as possible. Read on to learn what they are:
1. Call a Family Law Attorney
Upon deciding to dissolve the union, you should seek the advice of a family law attorney. A knowledgeable professional will help you understand your rights and obligations. They can also guide you through the legal system while advocating for your best interests every step of the way.
2. Gather Important Documents
Hammering out the logistics of the split demands all kinds of documentation, from tax returns and bank statements to business evaluations and property appraisals. It’s wise to make copies of all relevant records and to store them in a safe place, away from your spouse, until you can give them to your legal team.
3. Prioritize Your Safety
If you’re worried about your safety, ask your attorney how best to proceed. Depending on the nature of the situation, it may be possible to move out of the family home without relinquishing your rights to it. At the very least, if you’re in immediate danger, head to a loved one’s house until you can work out a more permanent arrangement with your lawyer’s help.
4. Devise a Budget
Regardless of your current financial situation—maybe both you and your spouse work, or maybe only one of you does—the divorce is going to affect the amount of money you have coming in. It’s wise to create a realistic budget that accounts for this change as soon as possible, so you can get used to the adjustment. Adhering to a new budget will also provide incredible insight on what you should ask for in the way of assets during the proceedings.
5. Consider the Advantages of Mediation
If you anticipate a fairly amicable split, mediation may be the easiest way to address the logistics. During this process, the couple consults a neutral third party who aims to help them arrive at mutually agreed-upon terms.
Mediation is less adversarial and more cost-effective than going to court. It also tends to be considerably less stressful, which can reduce the emotional toll that the divorce takes in general.
If this is the route you end up taking, however, it’s still wise to enlist legal help. The mediator is not responsible for advocating for your rights and will merely be trying to get you and your spouse to agree on favorable terms that suit everyone.
Discuss Your Case with a Divorce Attorney in Michigan
Ending a marriage can be a difficult decision, but by seeking the advice of a family law attorney, gathering important documents, prioritizing your safety, making a budget, and considering mediation, you can protect your best interests every step of the way.
To discuss your situation with a compassionate divorce lawyer in Michigan, turn to Smith & Johnson. Call 231-946-0700 or submit our Contact Form to schedule a free initial consultation.