Where Do I Start?

Right here at Divorce-Express.com. Educate yourself fully and then consult with a lawyer early in your thinking process. No lawyer can (or should) predict outcomes in your situation, but a lawyer can give you a sense of the “range of the possible,” point out problem areas, suggest steps you might take to raise money for legal fees and interim expenses, advise you about debt protection, and, where appropriate, recommend other professionals with whom you may want to consult (accountants, mental health professionals, marital counselors, or detectives).

To focus your own thinking, to begin your own practical preparations, and to make such a consultation efficient, here are some suggestions:

  • Organize your important personal and financial information;
  • List all of the assets and liabilities you know about in as much detail as they are known;
  • Review your current expenses and prepare a list of those expenses, along with a second list of what expenses you might anticipate if there is divorce;
  • Make copies of all of your financial documents, including three years of tax returns, monthly bank statements, and canceled checks; and
  • Download and copy any financial information on the family computer.

Share your financial concerns with trusted others who are willing to listen, but remember that their own divorce experiences are just that—theirs, not yours. Start to think about what to expect, never forgetting that “rights and entitlements” are fictions, and that the “range of the possible” is the source of realistic expectations in everyone’s divorce. If your goals are not realistic, you are likely to become angry, frustrated, and disappointed at the legal system and/or your lawyer, when the real culprit is your own set of expectations—something only you can control. Pay attention to your attitude, and remember that your best revenge against your spouse rests in your own personal happiness. If your definition of “success” is defined by what you want your spouse to do, or what you want your spouse to feel, you are giving power to someone who does not necessarily have your best interests at heart.

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