22 Feb Divorce 101 Episode 4: How To Prepare For A Divorce
How to Prepare for Divorce
For most people, beginning the divorce process is an especially emotional and frightening time. Developing a strong support network and understanding how to prepare for the proceedings can help you to feel more in control. Here’s a brief overview of the key actions to take when preparing for divorce in New York State.
Gather financial papers
If you’re considering filing for divorce, it’s vital to begin collecting your financial information as soon as possible. Make copies of a least one year’s worth of bank statements, tax returns, insurance policies, paystubs, investment statements, deeds, credit card bills, and other financial statements. Store these in a secure location so you can present them to your attorney when the time comes. Having these documents already gathered will help the process move more quickly.
Set a budget
You should also set a projected budget. When getting divorced, most families go from a dual-income, single household to separate households each supported by a single income. This division of finances will mean significant life changes for most, even those with a favorable divorce settlement. It is important to take a realistic look at your financial situation and prepare yourself for any changes that may be in your future.
Know your responsibilities if served
If you’re served with divorce papers in New York State, you have 20 days to file an answer. If you do not respond within 20 days, your spouse may be able to obtain a default judgment and proceed with the divorce without you. That means they will get to decide the terms of the divorce, possibly leaving you in a very difficult situation. So, once you have the initial divorce papers, find an attorney and respond as soon as possible.
Find the right divorce attorney
Having an experienced, knowledgeable attorney right from the start is essential. Your attorney can explain the divorce process to you, help you to understand your rights and obligations, and lessen your fears. Be sure to choose an attorney with whom you feel comfortable and can trust. After all, you will be spending considerable time with this person, sharing some of the most personal details of your life.
The Wesley Clark & Bates method
The attorneys at Wesley Clark & Bates are experienced divorce attorneys who will help you through this challenging time with compassion, understanding, and efficiency. If you’re considering divorce or have been served with divorce papers and live in Western New York, please contact our office at 585.546.1734. We would be happy to offer you a complimentary consultation and help you achieve the best outcome possible.