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What should you do before filing for divorce?

On Behalf of | Nov 17, 2023 | Divorce

Laws in Michigan help to ensure that there is consistency from divorce to divorce case. In litigated matters, judges are required to interpret statutes to divide marital property and allocate parental responsibilities in ways that reflect the legal standards enacted by the state. As a result of these efforts at achieving a reasonable degree of consistency, people can generally expect a fair amount of parenting time and an equitable share of marital property in a Michigan divorce.

However, those who prepare properly often have an easier time achieving the best possible outcome given their family circumstances, as every divorce case ultimately remains unique. Before filing divorce paperwork or broaching the topic of divorce with one’s spouse, there are other steps that an individual typically needs to take to better ensure a favorable outcome overall.

Obtaining copies of financial documents

Many people will try to manipulate the outcome of property division. Some people hide assets, while others may try to undervalue certain resources. The easiest way to counteract such financial deception is to have an accurate record of household financial matters. Copies of bills, statements from financial institutions and income tax returns are all key documentation that people typically want to gather before talking about divorce with their spouse.

Assessing the marital estate

To obtain a fair or equitable portion of the marital estate, an individual preparing for divorce needs to know what resources they must share with their spouse. From a comprehensive list of financial accounts to a written inventory of household assets and personal possessions, it is important for someone to have a thorough record of marital property and at least an estimate of what those assets are worth.

Speaking with a lawyer

Having proper support during a Michigan divorce can make all the difference for someone who worries about their future financial stability. Attorneys can help people pinpoint possible challenges and better understand state law. A lawyer can help someone more effectively prepare for the submission of paperwork to the courts and the discussion about divorce that someone will have to have with their spouse. People may sometimes also want to establish separate financial accounts, although they will still need to disclose those accounts funded with marital income during the divorce process.

Ultimately, taking the right steps before filing for divorce may make it easier for people to achieve the best possible outcome given their circumstances.