My Spouse Just Asked for a Divorce: What Should You Do?
Preparation is key to ensuring a smooth divorce process. Read on as The Law Offices of Ian S. Mednick offers tips on what to do if your spouse wants a divorce.
A divorce is an emotionally and legally complex process. From filing a summons to getting a final Judgment of divorce, the process can take anywhere from 6 months to 3 years, depending upon what you and your spouse are litigating.
If you have recently been surprised by the news that your spouse has asked for a divorce, it’s essential to take certain steps to protect yourself and your assets. From hiring a divorce lawyer to gathering financial documents, we’ll take a look at critical preparation steps you should take to ensure your legal and financial security.
Consult an Attorney
Divorce is a legal process, and having a knowledgeable attorney is essential. Your first step in the divorce process should be consulting with an experienced matrimonial attorney, preferably one who has handled divorces similar to yours before. This will help you understand your legal rights and obligations and ensure that you have a strong advocate representing your interests throughout the proceedings.
A divorce lawyer can help you understand the laws in your state and how to best protect yourself and your property from an unfair settlement. If necessary, they can also provide helpful guidance on child support or other matters related to the children of the marriage.
Gather Financial Documents
When beginning the divorce process, it’s vital to gather all of your financial documents and records into one place. These include:
- Tax returns and supporting documents
- Bank statements
- Pension, 401K, IRA, and other retirement accounts
- Investments and stock portfolios
- Credit card statements
- Auto loan information
- Mortgage records
- Life insurance policies
You’ll need these documents to show the court your assets and properly calculate alimony and child support. Having all your information organized in one place can save you time and make the process easier for you and your attorney. This is key to a smooth divorce process.
Identify Personal Properties
In New York any assets acquired during a marriage are considered marital property. There are instances where you may be entitled to a separate property credit of which your attorney can explain to you.
It’s essential to identify which belongings you owned before the marriage and which were acquired through joint efforts. If there are items of sentimental value, you should inform your attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can help you document the items and explain to the court why they should be awarded to you in a settlement.
Removing items from the marital home during the divorce process might be tempting, but doing so could hurt your case. Talk to your attorney first before removing any belongings.
Preparation is Key
The divorce process can be complicated and emotional, but taking a few basic steps to protect yourself and your assets at the start of the process can make things run smoothly. Hiring an experienced attorney can help you through the process and ensure your interests are protected at every step.
Remember, preparation is key when it comes to divorce. Taking the time to get organized will help you enter the proceedings confidently and give you the best chance of a fair outcome for both parties.
If you’re looking for an experienced divorce attorney in Long Island, consider The Law Offices of Ian S. Mednick, P.C. We have helped countless clients successfully navigate their divorce proceedings and safeguard their rights. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.