Thursday, June 30, 2016

5 Steps To Take Before Filing For Divorce

Filing for divorce is a big undertaking. Your life as you know it is about to change dramatically and permanently. Divorce proceedings can be challenging, time-consuming, and complicated, especially in high-asset divorces, even when there isn't a custody dispute. In order to set yourself up for success, you'll want to be sure that you get all your ducks in a row before really diving into the process.

As your trusted divorce attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks, I'm here to share with you some of the important steps you should take before filing for divorce in Camden County MO


1. Organize All Financial Documents

One of the most challenging and intricate aspects of getting divorced is dividing financial assets and responsibilities. Before filing for divorce, you will want to have access to all documents that outline your assets and liabilities so that down the road you and your attorney can more accurately assess them with a value and determine which assets and debts were accrued during the marriage and which were accrued prior to the marriage. 

2. Identify How Much You And Your Spouse Earn (Or Your Income Potential)

Before filing for divorce, it would be helpful to know exactly how much money you and your spouse is each earning. If you have been out of the workforce for a while (to take care of the children, for example), it is also important to evaluate how much you are capable of earning so that you and your attorney can make an informed determination about whether maintenance (alimony) should be part of the relief requested as part of your divorce.

3. Watch Your Accounts Closely

Your financial security can change in the blink of an eye as one or both parties prepare to file for divorce.  If you had shared bank accounts and credit card accounts with your spouse during your marriage, watch them closely for large withdrawals of cash or large credit card purchases.  When possible, consult with your attorney early about if and how you can protect yourself from your spouse making significant changes to these accounts during the build-up to divorce.

4. Take Inventory Of Valuable Assets

A lot of the marital resources go into establishing a home. Furniture, appliances, vehicles, real estate, jewelry... between the two of you, you and your spouse will probably have accumulated a few or several items of substantial financial value during the course of your marriage. Before getting divorced, you will want to take inventory of all your valuable financial assets and be sure you can locate each of them.

5. Schedule An Initial Consultation With Your Attorney

Even if you have gone through the process before, it is impossible for you to know every aspect of family law and how it pertains to your case. We encourage you to contact a family attorney in your area to help you evaluate your unique situation and determine what steps are most important for you to take. Having established a relationship with your attorney early on will serve as a valuable resource as your divorce progresses.

O'Donnell Law Center Is Here For You

Filing for divorce can be daunting, but our law firm at the Lake of the Ozarks is here to help make the process easier in any way we can. To learn more about our family law services in Osage Beach MO, visit our website at www.ODonnellLawCenter.com. You can also call our Center directly at 573-552-0317


We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.


The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.


Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065

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