The only thing more stressful than deciding to file for divorce is going through the lengthy process of finalizing your decision. Divorce proceedings can take weeks or months to complete – and the repercussions can last for years.
To assist in divorce preparation, here are a few steps to follow:
#1: Collect Important Documents
You’ll need an intense array of documentation to complete divorce proceedings. Below are some of the most commonly required forms:
- Prenuptial/Postnuptial Agreement
- Separation Agreement
- Retirement Account Statements
- Bank Statements
- Proof of Income
- Credit Card Statements
- Loan Documents
- Property Tax Statements
- Insurance Policies
- List of Personal Property
On top of these documents, you’ll also need your local, state, and federal income tax returns (both single and business) for the past three to five years.
The easiest way to transfer these documents from your possession to the courtroom is through an experienced attorney. Your lawyer will speak to witnesses, collect documentation, meet deadlines, and fight for an outcome that meets your needs. There are few reasons, if any, to go through this process alone.
#2: Organize Immediate Living Arrangements
Think carefully about where you – or your spouse – will live during proceedings. With whom will your children live? If you aren’t working, consider getting a job. Create a detailed weekly, monthly and yearly budget spreadsheet. The key to balance during this emotional time is to find stability in your surroundings.
#3: Find Essential Support
Once you’ve made the official decision to get divorced, turn to a family member or friend for support. If you don’t feel you can talk to anyone in your personal life, consider investing in therapy. Not interested in either option? Visit religious organizations with unique support groups. Some communities also offer free counseling to spouses preparing for divorce.
#4: Avoid Starting a New Relationship
If you can avoid starting a new relationship, do so. In some states, an extramarital affair can become a serious problem during the formal divorce process – even if the couple in question has been separated for some time.
#5: Think About Mediation
Not all divorces have to be messy. Consider mediation or “collaborative divorce.” By choosing this route, you’ll work closely with a team of emotional, legal, and financial experts to work through your separation as partners. Each expert will tailor your focus to an important issue, while a mediator will assist in settling disagreements.
Contact an Experienced Colorado Divorce Attorney for Representation
If you’ve made the difficult decision to file for divorce, contact an experienced Colorado divorce attorney at Kinnaird & Kinnaird. We have a track record of proven success and care deeply about your emotional well-being. Our team is devoted to making this process as smooth and stress-free as possible – giving you time to focus on what matters most. Call our office at (719)-520-0003.