How to Prepare for Your Missouri Divorce
An Awareness Guide for Spouses Considering a Divorce
As a spouse considering divorce, you face several obstacles - most notably, getting through the legal process.
And that's where this guide will help you. As you can imagine, starting the proceedings unprepared or uneducated about your options is a mistake.
After you read the following information, you'll be able to make informed, intelligent decisions about your divorce. My experience as a Missouri divorce lawyer practicing exclusively in family law and domestic relations gives me unique insight into your situation. So I encourage you to also use me a source to calm your concerns.
I'm happy to answer your questions and evaluate your situation - without any obligation. Call me today at (314) 322-8515.
Of course, I know many people have reservations about working with lawyers. That's why my practice is dedicated to educating prospects and clients.
After all, when you know what goes on behind the divorce process and understand why certain events happen, you can better project problems and create a more predictable outcome.
Tonya D. Page
You probably didn't expect to go through a divorce when you married, but that doesn't mean you can't prepare for the process.
First, in addition to a time commitment, a divorce requires a monetary commitment. In most cases, you'll need to hire a divorce attorney who can help make financial and procedural decisions, advocate for your rights, and help you obtain the best possible settlement or outcome from a trial.
Your costs are determined by several factors, including who your spouse hires as an attorney, the issues you want to contest (such as custody of your children), you and your spouse's employment, and whether or not your case goes to trial. You may also need to hire financial or mental health experts to advocate on your behalf.
Time is also a factor. Non-contested cases can get resolved in as few as 30-90 days, while more complex cases may last as long as a year.
Before starting your divorce proceedings, gather as much of your financial information as possible and make copies. Include anything that affects your financial standing, including mortgage payments, investment and retirement statements, tax returns, credit reports and loan records. You should be prepared to disclose your entire financial position.
Next, create a detailed list of your assets, debts and income - and be specific. If you don't have a strong sense of your finances, don't hesitate to rely on your divorce attorney for help.
Here are some questions your attorney will ask you: What are your household expenses? Do you have a car payment? Do you and your spouse own a property or multiple properties? Do you have business debts? Are you collecting income from other sources besides your primary job?
If possible, support your expenses with bank or credit card statements. If you don't have access to this paperwork or other details about your expenses, your attorney can get them for you.
You'll also need to gather details about your spouse's income, which is available on your previous years' tax returns. (With your attorney's help, your spouse can be ordered to produce this information or have it subpoenaed from an employer.) Naturally, you'll keep your divorce costs down when you and your spouse voluntarily provide more information.
Then, the instant you know a divorce is inevitable, start establishing your own accounts for checking, insurance, credit cards, etc. If you and your spouse have equal access to joint accounts with assets, your divorce attorney may advise you to withdraw half the funds to prevent your spouse from removing all the money and putting you into a financial bind.
Additionally, if you have children, one parent may be ordered to pay child support to the other parent. Numerous factors get considered by the court when determining child support, including both parents' income; custody arrangements; and extraordinary expenses, such as daycare, health insurance, private school, etc.
And, finally, the potential for problems doesn't end after your divorce is complete. So maintain contact with your divorce attorney for guidance on issues such as changing your will and life insurance policies. If your spouse is a beneficiary for your assets, you'll likely want to make changes.
Schedule your free divorce assessment today by calling (314) 322-8515.