How To Plan When Divorce Is On The Horizon

You may have suspected your marriage was on the rocks for months or even years — or you may have been shocked and surprised when your wife or husband broke the news to you just yesterday. A knock at the door with delivery of a divorce petition may have been the first you heard of it. Whether you have had time to adjust to the idea or not, you now need a plan on how to protect your interests.

Talk To An Attorney As Soon As Possible

Whether you are thinking about filing for divorce, or have just been served with divorce papers, you owe it to yourself to talk to an attorney. Emotions run high during these cases, and you want to have a plan in place to protect your assets, your credit and your reputation.

Financially speaking and otherwise, the outcome of your divorce may affect your quality of life for many years to come. It is worthwhile to get reliable legal advice as soon as you suspect or know your marriage is about to end.

Consider Getting Personal And Family Counseling

The personal and emotional aspects of a divorce are hard for most people to deal with. Relationships with family and friends may be greatly impacted. Counseling is helpful for many, especially when children are involved. It can also save on attorneys' fees when problems can be resolved without resorting to legal action.

A child custody and visitation order in your divorce will, of course, have an impact on your relationship with your child or children. To ensure the most favorable continuity of your role as a nurturing mother or father, start now to keep a log of your parental involvement, including documentation of:

  • Attendance at parent-teacher conferences
  • Taking your child to doctor and dentist visits
  • Chauffeuring your child to extracurricular activities, scouting and social engagements
  • Quality time spent with your child such as through participation in extended family gatherings, camping trips and/or community events together

Plan For A Peaceful Separation

If domestic violence has been an issue in your relationship, talk to a lawyer right away. Learn about resources in your area such as domestic violence shelters (usually for women and children) that may become critical at some point. Realize that there may be a reason to insist on an eviction of your spouse. If necessary, coordinate efforts with law enforcement agents to ensure a peaceful separation.

I am divorce attorney Justin P. Miller in Bellefonte. I can help ensure vigilance and protection of your safety, children and property as you get ready to make a move such as leaving home or asking your husband or wife to leave.

Prepare For Financial Changes Ahead

Other aspects of your divorce will likely affect your long-term financial stability — namely:

  • Property division
  • Division of debts
  • Spousal support, if applicable

To get ready to protect your rights through negotiations, mediation or courtroom litigation, start now by:

  • Inventorying your household goods, including jewelry, tools, art, silver, firearms, furniture and other collectibles
  • Inventorying your financial assets, including bank accounts, investments accounts, insurance policies, your house deed and business records
  • Making copies of records while you have electronic access to joint accounts and finding out how to get access to accounts that only your spouse has passwords for

If you have not yet filed for divorce and your spouse does not know of your plans, you may tell him or her you are gathering information for insurance purposes. If you have access to your spouse's social media accounts, keep screenshots of posts that may prove useful in divorce proceedings.

Plan Smartly For Your Divorce By Realizing Legal Aspects Are Like A Business Deal

At the Law Office of Justin P. Miller, we aim to help people plan carefully in all types of legal matters, including divorce, business startups, drafting of wills and pursuing expungement to clear convictions off criminal records. Divorce is an emotional event in many people's lives, but it is also a business-like matter in the area of finances.

Complete the online intake form on this website or call 814-359-7268 to schedule a consultation and learn more about how to get ready for your Pennsylvania divorce.