Divorce Lawyer in Phoenix
If your marriage is approaching the end of its rope, then divorce may be a plausible alternative for you. Divorce marks the legal end of your marriage. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, more than half of all Arizona marriages end in divorce.
If you suppose that your marriage has come to its conclusion and you’re ready for divorce, then you need to understand what steps to take right now. Your future and the impact of the divorce on your family will depend upon the decisions you make now.
Some divorces are handled outside of the courts through alternative dispute resolution processes such as collaborative divorce or mediation. However, alternative dispute resolution may not be best for you if your reasons for divorce include domestic violence, child abuse, or drug and alcohol abuse.
Phoenix divorce attorney Cosmas Onyia has handled hundreds of divorce cases with many different issues. Let’s review what steps to take to protect yourself, your assets, and your family during your divorce proceedings.
Steps to Take Before Divorce
It’s essential to take the necessary steps to protect your assets before starting your divorce. Before you tell your spouse that you want a divorce, consider doing the following to protect your property and prepare yourself for divorce:
Gather Important Financial Information
One of the principal objectives of the divorce process is to make an impartial distribution of your marital assets and debts. If you want to get your fair share during divorce settlement negotiations, you’ll need to have a good grasp of your financial situation.
Here’s a list of the more important financial documents and information you’ll need to gather before proceeding with your divorce:
- An inventory of your art, collectibles, and other valuable owned by you or your spouse
- Bank statements for the past year including any taxable brokerage accounts, most recent pension statements, 401(k)s, or IRAs for both you and your spouse owned by you or your spouse
- Business tax returns for any businesses that are owned
- Credit reports from the three major reporting agencies
- Insurance policies
- Most recent bills from each of your creditors
- Photocopies of any deeds and titles of property owned by you, your spouse, or both
- Tax returns for the last three years
Determining income can be tricky for those who are self-employed. In this case, copies of bank account statements can demonstrate income. Make copies of your bank statements before filing for divorce. Even if you only have an estimate of your spouse’s true income, gather as much information as you can and allow our Phoenix divorce attorney to assist with the rest.
Open Personal Credit and Banking Accounts
One of the advantages of marriages is being able to tie your finances together with another but this also presents one of the hardest pitfalls of divorce. Disentangling your financial position from that of your spouse may prove difficult but not impossible.
If you don’t have any credit, then establish it by obtaining a credit card in your name before you file for divorce. If you have a credit card with your spouse, you can pay it off with your spouse or agree to remove your spouse’s authorization with your credit card company.
Financial advisors can work in tandem with your legal representation to help you to understand the potential tax consequences and other financial impacts of your divorce. Financial advisors also assist with creating post divorce budgets that can help divorcees approach their new lives financially prepared.
Hire an Experienced Phoenix Divorce Attorney
It will be simpler for your divorce to be handled without litigation. However, when your divorce can’t be resolved without litigation, it’s important to have an adept divorce law professional in your corner.
When choosing an attorney, be sure to search for an attorney who grasps the value of a quick settlement and is also willing to battle in court if the need arises. Divorce attorneys can guide you, offer support, and help you to avoid damaging errors.
We recommend having a free consultation with your attorney before deciding to work with them. You’ll want to have a clear idea of their fees, experience with divorces like yours, and areas of specialties before making a decision.
Other Practice Areas
- Legal Separation
- Child Custody
- Grandparents Rights
- Spousal Support
- Order of Protection
- Child Support
- Debt Division
- Property Division
- Child Visitation
You might be interested in: