When a marriage is over, what you do to prepare for divorce can make a big difference in the costs and outcomes associated with the case. That’s because, by taking certain steps, it’s possible to expedite the process while protecting your future interests.
If you are ready to move forward with divorce, here’s what you can do to start preparing and protecting yourself for your upcoming case:
- Get your sensitive documents together – These documents should include the paperwork associated with your marital property, including your marital assets and/or marital debts. By gathering these documents before you file for divorce, you will have most (if not all) of what’s needed when it’s time to divide up the marital property (facilitating that process and potentially reducing its costs).Taking this step can also be important if, for instance, you plan on moving out of the home (after which getting access to these documents may become more challenging). Some examples of the sensitive documents to get together are as follows:
- Ownership documents, such as deeds for property and titles for vehicles
- Account-related documents, like bank statements and retirement account statements
- Debt-related documents, such as credit card bills and loan documents
- Tax documents, including income tax returns for the past few years
- Insurance documents, such as life insurance policy paperwork.
- Set up accounts in your name only – This will help ensure that you have access to money later if anything happens. If this step isn’t taken, you can be opening yourself up to the possibility that a bitter ex may drain your joint accounts, depriving you of access to the funds needed to cover your legal fees. And that can be a strategy used to try to turn up the pressure on you and compel you to agree to less favorable terms in a divorce settlement.
- Close your joint accounts ASAP – Related to the above, closing your joint accounts – like your joint lines of credit – can be another important step to take before filing for divorce because it can prevent a resentful or angry ex from maxing out your lines of credit (again, to try to limit your access to funds and put more pressure on you). So, close your joint credit lines and open up accounts in your name alone. This can save you a lot of stress and money in the long run.
- Review & update your beneficiary & emergency contact designations – If your ex is listed as the beneficiary for any of your insurance policies, assets and/or financial accounts, then updating these designations is also an important step to take before filing for divorce. As part of this process, don’t forget to update your emergency contact designations as well. This step can be crucial to ensuring that an ex isn’t receiving something (or being contacted) against your wishes.
- Meet with an attorney – Regardless of whether you are able to follow through with any of the above steps, the best thing you can do before filing for divorce is consulting a lawyer. That’s because an attorney can carefully review the facts and details of your situation and provide you with advice regarding the next best steps to take in order to protect your interests and position yourself for the best possible outcomes as you proceed.
Contact Our Trusted Divorce Lawyers in Colorado Springs
When you need superior, effective representation in a Colorado divorce case, contact our experienced divorce lawyers in Colorado Springs by calling (719) 520-0003 or by emailing us via the contact form on this page.
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