Every day dozens of couples decide to end their marriages. Divorce, or dissolution of marriage, may be pursued for a number of reasons, including spousal abuse, an unfaithful spouse, or irreconcilable differences, and North Dakota recognizes both fault and no-fault grounds.
Regardless of the reasons for a divorce, spouses should do a number of things to prepare for divorce, including:
- Hire a divorce attorney. Whether you were blindsided by the divorce petition or saw it coming, you need to make an informed choice regarding representation. You should hire an family law attorney who focuses on divorce and family law.
- Gather financial information. One of the primary objectives of the divorce process is to obtain an equitable division of assets and debts. To do so, you must determine what you own, what you owe, and your income. Once you have collected your important financial documents, you need to make two copies of each document – one for you and one for your divorce attorney.
- Prepare a budget. You should actually prepare two budgets: one that illustrates the financial situation in the household before the divorce filing, and another that estimates your budget after the divorce is final. Knowing your monthly budget is essential to demonstrate your standard of living and financial need as well as that of the children.
- Avoid taking on additional debt or making major purchases. When you are preparing for divorce, it is important that you be conservative with your finances, since before your divorce can be finalized, you and your spouse will need to decide who will be responsible for which debts, and the less complicated your financial situation is, the easier this will be.
- Don’t leave the marital home. Although things are stressful, it is usually not in your best interest to move out of the house, since doing so might jeopardize your custody claim, affect your property interests, and cause you to lose leverage in divorce negotiations.
If you and your spouse are preparing for a divorce, you need the skilled representation of a divorce attorney who will do everything possible to put your interests first. Contact the family law attorneys at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Attorneys online or call 701-235-8000 (toll free: 877-235-8002) today.
Image courtesy of The Blue Diamond Gallery.