What to do first to prepare for an upcoming divorce

Every family deals with divorce differently. Cape Cod Today recently went into detail about the main points of the divorce process and how couples can increase their chances of having a speedier divorce. 

One of the best ways to expedite the process is to prepare appropriately ahead of time. You will likely know when a marriage heads for divorce long before actually filing the paperwork. Before doing anything else, you should be sure to do the following. 

Collect legal and financial documents

You should make photocopies of all pertinent documents. This includes W-2s, bank account statements, credit card accounts, retirement accounts, tax returns and pay stubs. You should also provide proof of all major assets you own, such as car loans and mortgages. All of these documents should date back for the last three years, and they are the first materials your attorney will ask you for. 

Start saving money

Divorce is an expensive process even if you can get through it fairly quickly. Additionally, you may need to pay for other expenses during this time, such as an apartment to rent so that you and your spouse can live separately. The best way to go about doing this is to open a separate bank account and put portions of your income in there. You need to be careful of taking funds out of a joint account because it could work against you later. 

Prepare for custody negotiations

If you and your spouse have children, then you should consider going through mediation. These sessions may help you get along better while the mediator assists with productive conversations about how you will undertake custody. This is the most contentious issue in any divorce with children, so you should go in prepared. You should understand any and all health needs and extracurricular activities. You will also need to develop appropriate boundaries with the other parent, so you both feel compelled to abide by the custody arrangement.

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