So you believe the ‘big split’ is inevitable. Whether you are the person filing the initial petition or the one getting served, it’s important that you are prepared for your divorce. Here is a list of important information that you should start preparing (or at least start mulling around ideas in your head for) to make this difficult process go a tad bit more easily.
1) Financial Documents
Getting a divorce is the splitting of your two lives and your finances. Therefore you need to give your attorney the most information possible and as quickly as possible. Gather your latest bank statements, credit card statements, last 2 months of paycheck stubs, and savings account statements. Gather copies of any retirement accounts, pensions or any 401K statements from your job. Also make a list of your estimated monthly expenses as to bills like utilities, water, electric, laundry, clothing, etc.
2) Make a List of Assets
Over the course of your marriage, you have made many purchases together. Start thinking about what assets you would be able to split with. Write down the big items in your house that might be at issue and let your attorney know the garage sale value of the items (not how much you bought it for, how much it would go for in a garage sale) and when/how you acquired the asset.
If you have children from the marriage, then you need to think about custody and visitation for the child or children. The court always leans towards equal physical and legal custody for both parents whenever possible. However, there is something in your case that might make equal custody not possible, issues such as drug use, domestic violence, and criminal history. You will want to let your attorney know so they can make the proper recommendation on how and what to file.