Bivek, Brubaker & Prescott - Marietta family law and divorce attorneys

10 Things to Do Before You File for Divorce

The Georgia divorce attorneys at Bivek Brubaker & Prescott LLC have handled divorces all over the state for more than a decade. We’ve seen just about every scenario you can think of – including a husband who insisted he be allowed to sit naked in the hot tub in his front yard!

Once you file for divorce, your spouse will likely be working with an attorney, and divorce preparations will be underway. Your financial activities may be limited by things such as an Automatic Domestic Relations Standing Order. Before you file for divorce, read the Top 10 List we’ve compiled below.

  1. Create a nest egg or emergency fund. Whether you create a separate account, talk to parents or friends, or move money from a savings account into a separate account, make sure you have funds available to you that your spouse can’t access. Once a divorce is filed, the court will issue an Automatic Domestic Relations Standing Order that prevents both you and your spouse from moving assets outside of the marital estate.
  2. Collect financial documentation. Gather every piece of financial documentation you can about your assets and your spouse’s assets. If you see a stock statement out of the corner of your eye, copy it! If you see retirement statements around the house, gather them up and put them in a folder! If you still have access to retirement accounts or savings accounts online, print the current statements for every single account.
  3. Ensure your privacy for email, social media, and mail. Set up a separate, private email address, and change the password for all your social media accounts, including Facebook, Instagram, etc. Get a private P.O. Box where you can receive confidential letters and communications. If you fear your spouse may be tracking your correspondence or movements, consult with an attorney about engaging a private investigator to scan your electronic devices and cars for spyware or tracking devices. It’s not against the law for your spouse to put spyware on your device – if they own the account. In some circumstances, if they own the car, they can also install a GPS tracking device.
  4. Engage a Georgia divorce attorney! Don’t wait until you are on the brink of filing to contact a divorce attorney. There is a TON of good information that a skilled Marietta family law attorney can equip and empower you with when you begin the divorce planning process early. Whether you have concerns about custody, who gets the house, physical or emotional abuse, or assets being moved and hidden, hiring an attorney early in the process can help calm your fears. Together, you and your divorce attorney can create a game plan that will put you in the best position for a new beginning.
  5. Talk to a therapist! Having your emotions under control before you begin the divorce process will help you keep a level head. It’s also helpful to already have someone in your corner if abuse issues enter the picture. Your spouse may be narcissistic, emotionally abusive, controlling, or manipulative. If you have a counselor you can talk to about the issues that are overwhelming you, you will feel empowered and more capable of focusing on the “business” of divorce!
  6. Educate yourself about your finances. You can do this by talking to a financial planner or even by talking to your spouse! When was the last time the two of you spoke openly about what assets the family has? Do you know what he or she has in savings, stocks, bonds, CDs, retirement, pensions, etc.?
  7. End any affairs – at least temporarily. If you are having an affair or are involved with someone else, cut things off BEFORE you file for divorce, even if it’s just temporary. Staying involved with someone DURING divorce proceedings will only infuriate your spouse and make the entire process more difficult.
  8. Build your team and surround yourself with close friends you can trust! You need a financial professional, a health care expert, a family law attorney, and a counselor in your corner while you’re considering divorce. This well-rounded group of professionals will help guide and support you. And, having close friends you can trust is so important when you are considering divorce.
  9. Talk to the kids together with your spouse. Do NOT speak to them alone or try to encourage them to support “your side.” This angle will only backfire and put you in a poor position if your spouse contests custody. Moreover, it will be extremely harmful to your children.
  10. TAKE A VACATION! If resources allow, do yourself a favor and take a vacation. You’re going to need it!

SPEAK WITH A QUALIFIED GEORGIA DIVORCE ATTORNEY

If you are thinking about divorce, we would love to talk to you and help calm your fears and anxieties. At Bivek Brubaker & Prescott, we’re well-versed in Georgia divorces and can guide you through the divorce process. You will work with one of our highly qualified partners, not a junior associate. We take the time during your consultation to answer your questions and advise you on your Marietta divorce. Please contact the Marietta family law attorneys or call 404-793-6530 to speak with us.

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