Steps to Take When Preparing for Divorce
The end of a marriage often means major life changes for the spouses and their children. A divorce proceeding can be overwhelming, as it typically involves resolution of such matters as property division, debt settlement, alimony and child custody and support. Failure to adequately prepare can make the legal process much more difficult. In addition, you need to fortify yourself for dealing with the emotional stress that often accompanies a divorce case.
Here are some key steps to take when preparing for a divorce in North Carolina:
- Retain legal counsel — Divorce, even if uncontested, is subject to legal procedures and requirements. In addition, there are important decisions to be made about property and parenting concerns. By hiring a qualified divorce attorney, you’re enlisting the help of a professional who can guide you through all stages of the case.
- Establish grounds for divorce — To file for a divorce in North Carolina, a couple must have been separated for at least a year. This means that you and your spouse must have lived at different locations. In addition, one of you must have resided in the state for at least six months prior to the filing.
- Take stock of your finances — Gather all documents related to bank accounts, credit accounts, investments, health plans, retirement accounts and credit lines. Determine what streams of income you have and can expect for the future. Open a bank account in your own name and make sure that direct deposits of your salary go there. Also take steps to establish your own line of credit.
- Compile a complete list of your assets and debts — Inventory all property you own individually or jointly and itemize its value. Assemble all ownership documents, including deeds and purchase receipts. Any and all debts should also be tallied and documented.
- Prepare your children for changes ahead — If you have children under the age of 18, decisions on custody and child support are likely to play a central role. As much as possible, you want to minimize the negative impact the divorce will have on a child.
- Seek out emotional support — For most people, divorce brings a range of feelings. Individuals who have gone through a divorce often grieve for the loss of not only a marriage or family unit, but also what might have been. It’s important to deal with these emotions and to understand how they might make it more difficult for you to make logical and sound choices both before and during a separation and divorce.
The Moore Law Office, PLLC, located in Asheville, North Carolina, is a full-service domestic relations firm. Our attorneys are skilled in all aspects of divorce cases and work diligently to secure the best possible outcomes for our clients. Feel to contact us online or call 828-333-4796 for an initial consultation.