What Should I Do If I Want Divorce?
The Steps To Take If You Decide You Want a Divorce
Making the decision that you no longer want to be married to someone is very stressful and painful. You will need a support network of friends and family to help you through the emotional and psychological strain. If you have determined that you cannot continue to remain married and would be a happier person if you were divorced, here are a few initial steps you can take to help protect yourself:
- First, consider whether marriage counseling could be effective and appropriate – sometimes if both parties are willing to be open-minded and to commit to working on mending the relationship, positive changes can make all the difference.
- If counseling isn’t appropriate or is unlikely to improve your situation, you should obtain and make copies of all of the financial documents for the past five years of your marriage, including bank statements and retirement accounts, income tax returns, credit card statements, loan balance and payment statements, monthly bills, etc. Keep the copies in a safe place somewhere outside of your home.
- Make sure you have access to bank accounts and/or credit cards. You may wish to take half of what is in a joint account to make sure you will have sufficient money to hire a lawyer and to survive without your spouses’ income.
- Next, take pictures and make a list of everything you own that has value, put an approximate value on it, and try to remember when and how you purchased or obtained the item. Decide if it is something you want and how important it is to you.
- Once you let your spouse know, if he or she agrees to move out, document what is being taken from the house and approximate the value. Take pictures. As soon as he or she has moved out, change the locks on the house immediately and tell your spouse that he or she can only come to the house by invitation or agreement.
- Try to come to an agreement about who will pay what bills and debts and make a list of the debts, payments, and who has agreed to pay which. Your attorney can use this list in drafting a consent order or separation agreement and property settlement.
- Absolutely do not sign any documents, contract or agreements presented to you by your spouse until you have had a chance to meet with an attorney and discuss the document. This is very important. Once you sign and notarize an agreement, an attorney is limited in what she can do to change what you’ve signed.
- Do not agree to move out of the house until you have discussed it with an attorney unless you have been a victim of domestic violence or you fear domestic violence. If that is the case, call the police and call us about the possibility of a restraining order to keep your violent spouse away from you.
- As soon as you can, contact us and come in for a consultation. We can provide you with additional steps you can take specific to your situation and we can discuss your options and rights.
Contact Kurtz & Blum for a Consultation
Our family lawyers help people throughout Wake County, North Carolina. We frequently handle offenses arising out of the following cities: New Hope, Apex, Fuquay-Varina, Wendell, Cary, Knightdale, Wake Forest, Rolesville, Raleigh, Garner, Holly Springs, Zebulon, and Morrisville.