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Facing a contentious divorce? Get prepared first

The media makes it seem as though everyone who gets a divorce does so amicably and parts as friends. While many couples here in Texas and elsewhere may fit that bill, not everyone does. You and your future former spouse may not be in a position to part ways amicably. In fact, you may be headed for a contentious divorce.

Despite what people may say, ending a marriage is not easy. Both parties will go through at least some emotional turmoil. After all, you are parting ways with the person you thought you would spend your life with. If you believe the emotional fallout from your divorce will prevent you from staying out of court, you may want to take some time to prepare before you announce your intentions.

The basics of divorce preparation

Every situation is unique, so you may need to take additional steps in addition to those listed below before you feel as though you can file for divorce. However, the following should give you a good place to start:

  • Make sure you have as complete an understanding as possible of the income you will have at your disposal post-divorce. Depending on the circumstances, spousal support may be an issue.
  • Gather as much information you can regarding your current financial situation. You need to know what you own and what you owe.
  • In order to know what you need to ask for from the court, you need to know what you will need. Considering the above information, create a realistic post-divorce budget.
  • If you have joint deposit accounts and you fear your spouse will abscond with their contents, open your own account with only half of the money in those accounts. Make sure you document what you spend and do not attempt to hide what you did.
  • If you can, close any credit accounts you share with your spouse. Some people will run up credit cards and other credit accounts to punish the other party.
  • If you are able, do not move out of the marital home to avoid potential problems with your interest in the property and your ability to obtain custody of your children, if any. Of course, if your safety is at issue, do whatever you must to protect yourself and your children.
  • You may want to consult with an attorney as well to help protect your rights and interests throughout the divorce process.

In addition to the above, you will want to make sure that nothing you say or do from this point forward will compromise your ability to receive a fair and equitable settlement or your ability to receive custody of your children. Even the appearance of impropriety could cost you in court, and this includes your presence on social media.

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