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11 Things Before filing for Divorce You Should Know

Hi guys this attorney Terry as Harun year Georgia family law attorney and I wanted to talk to you today about an exit strategy if you’re thinking about divorce. This is very important you would not buy a house without some planning you would not build a house without some planning you wouldn’t just go in the kitchen and start putting together some kind of meal that you’ve never done before without some kind of planning some kind of prepping without having everything in place.

so it’s no different if you’re filing for divorce you gotta have a plan and a lot of times we don’t have plans when it comes to this now I get it maybe you’re the one that’s responding to a divorce so you didn’t really have a plan in place but if you’re thinking about filing for divorce you need to have a plan in place so let’s just get right into it I’m gonna give you 11 steps 11 steps to take when you’re getting ready or even thinking about the divorce number one make sure you get all of your financial documents I mean I’m sure you have financial documents all over the house bank statements insurance information start gathering all of that stuff because it’s gonna be very very important as you grow go through the litigation process.

so make sure you start gathering important documents and here’s the thing about those important documents I would make sure I gather those so my spouse doesn’t have access today I would take those to work with me and just put them in a safe spot at work or if you want to open a safe deposit box or just a small storage where you can keep these things in but you don’t want to keep them at the house they’re gonna come up in court and so maybe it was something not saying that you need to be hiding anything but something that you didn’t want to come before the court now all of a sudden you don’t know where the and you get the cord and now your spouse it’s like hey here it is right here so make sure you start gathering all of your important documents.

And not just for that reason of course you need to know what your insurance plan is what your medical insurance is all of that so start gathering those documents number two we gotta protect our information I get it when you guys are all in love you guys have the same password you guys have the same email address you guys have the same bank account but at this time it started it’s time to start making these things private so no you don’t need this have the same email address and in fact you need to go ahead and change your email address if your spouse does have your password.

Because guess what if you change your password that’s gonna be a red flag to your spouse oh what is this person doing why don’t you just change your password so make sure you making things private even with your bank accounts I have to start changing those things I would actually change my bank account and I probably wouldn’t bank at the same Bank that my spouse is Bank again I would go to a different thing because you don’t want the bank that you guys are baking yet to inadvertently let your spouse know that hey oh yeah there’s a new bank account you don’t want that so go ahead and open up a new bank account as well all right in the meantime do not try to and this is one of the biggest mistakes people make do not try to transfer property get rid of property oh let me empty out my 401k it’s gonna come back to bite me do not do that it is 2018.

You know so it’s 2018 as of recording this so you know if it’s further they they’re more FPS things but as the 2018 there’s not much that you can really hide I mean every thing has an electronic footprint a paper trail so you definitely want to make sure that you’re not giving your sister the house or transferring certain property or let me transfer a $10,000 to this bank account I mean that’s easily shown okay all right the other thing is you guys want to make a protect that make a projected budget now before there may have been two income who knows but at the same time we’re separating homes so you need to make sure that you know how much it’s going to cost you to live separately.

if you’re gonna have the children with you you need to know how much it’s going to cost you especially let me just say this especially for those who may be asking for alimony you need to know how much it’s going to take for you to live separately how much you bring in if you bring in anything and then what the difference is so if you actually are asking for alimony and you have a deficiency then you definitely want to have some kind of idea that you can get the judge as the judge as to how much you’re needing for alimony okay all right now is not the good time where the best time to go and accumulate more debt make sure we’re not accumulating more day and let’s make sure we’re definitely not doing it to be malicious and think that oh yeah we’re just gonna stick our spouse with the debt because the judges could end up sticking you with the debt because you did that you know it’s all marital dead.

As long as you guys are married but it doesn’t mean that that person is going to be 100% responsible for that dead so let’s not accumulate new debt if we can avoid it let’s make sure that we’re paying down debt let’s make sure that we’re not accumulating new debt that is going to cause us some problems while we’re going through the divorce process okay all right so you want to make sure if you have children that you are staying active in your lives if you’ve seen any of my videos you know I’m big on that I get it you guys may not be together you may say well listen I’m not looking for primary custody I’m looking to be the secondary and I’m fine with that I’m fine with the other person or the spouse have a primary but that doesn’t mean you do a disappearing act when it comes to your children make sure that you maintain that relationship.

Make sure that you’re making it and easy as possible transition for your children stay active still go to the chess game still go to the track meets still show up at if it’s the church you know make sure you’re being active in your children’s lives they didn’t ask for this divorce and you don’t want it to make it seem like it’s their fault and they’re already going through things by even knowing that there’s a divorce so let’s try to maintain some kind of normal behavior or some kind of normal routine for the children okay all right so a lot of people get this wrong listen I don’t care for your spouse agrees to keep you on their health insurance once you’re divorced guess what’s gonna happen your spouse’s that would be dropped or you’re gonna be dropped from your spouse’s health insurance so now is the time to start researching to see what’s available for you out there,

What kind of insurance medical insurance is available to you now Cobra is pretty expensive but if you’re needing something after you divorce Cobra maybe the only option that you have very expensive and allows you to stay on that plan for a certain period of time but it’s very very very expensive okay so start researching some kind of medical insurance for yourself all right in the meantime if you’re asking for custody if you think a custody battle is gonna be happening and this divorce thing you definitely want to make sure that you’re keeping those that you’re keeping some kind of calendar I normally tell my clients hey keep a calendar especially if you’re separated keep a calendar of the days that you’re saving the children we want to do that because we want to show the judge that listen just hey if you look at this calendar.

I’m spending half the parenting time with my children so therefore I should have half the parenting time it’s been working without any kind of issues so you want to make sure you do that even if you’re the person that’s saying listen my spouse has seen these children since we’ve been separated two or three times put together a calendar so that you can easily show the judge that you’re not gonna remember all of that on the witness stand you’re not gonna say oh by December 1st um that’s the only turn this up you’re not gonna remember that okay so start making the journal or keeping a calendar you can easily print out a blank Google Calendar to use and you can mark that so if your spouse has only been seeing the children five times out of the month then you definitely want to bring that to the attention of the judge because now your spouse is gonna be asking for all the parenting time or maybe a primary but at least you can say listen judge look at this calendar we’ve been separated for nine months and my spouse has only seen the kids five times out of the month he or she shouldn’t have primary custody.

I’m the one that’s normally taking care of the kids but have that in place same thing with other things you need to keep some kind of journal if you were the one that’s paying all of the bills or if you’re the one that you can’t pay the bills but your spouse has paid off certain things you want to keep a journal Weston who has been paying what trust me these things will be helpful for you if you’re on that witness stand and this is that issue okay all right the next thing you definitely to plan for your future I get it that’s what you did when you got married right you plan to be with this person for the rest of your life well stuff happens and you’re going through a divorce and it’s not easy trust me I know that’s not easy but at the same time we still have to make some kind of plan for our life so what are you going to do if you’re the person that didn’t work during the marriage are you gonna go back to school and get some kind of degree sometimes some kind of certificate what are you gonna do are you gonna move out of state go back home to where you know you were from Illinois you’re gonna go back to Elinor where you have a support system now it’s the time to start planning those things okay all right here’s

Very important thing I don’t do this on your own you need the advice of attorneys okay make sure that you are seeking out advice from an attorney we would love to have you but we’re not for everyone so make sure you’re getting with a good attorney and don’t you dare go in that courtroom without an attorney I get all the time people calling and asking do I really need an attorney and you know I’m gonna give you a biased answer but at the same time I may not be the attorney for you but you definitely need an attorney if you’re going to court if you’re divorcing you know you’re only looking at what’s happening right now as divorce attorneys we anticipate the next few years there are some things that we can anticipate that you cannot anticipate you don’t know what’s gonna come up but we already know because we are experienced and we’ve seen these things happen time and time.

Again I get a lot of people that go through the divorce process maybe they do the sell them and agreement and oh yeah we did a great job on that we just printed out the doc online and in five years later they’re running into an issue with the documents that they thought were all good but because certain things they did not anticipate you know you may have put in there we’re gonna refinance the house my wife is gonna be a ward at the house and she’s gonna refinance it and then you never accounted for the fact that if she can’t refinance the house what’s gonna happen we already know what we can do you know we already know okay if she can’t refinance the house well we’ll do is we’ll make sure that it goes on the market we already anticipate things like that all right make sure if it’s conducive to speak with your spouse about the divorce if you think there’s a chance that this could be uncontested talk with your spouse about the divorce see what he or she wants out of this.

You know you guys may be on the same page see what that person is wanting out of the divorce don’t just jump into hey it’s automatically gonna be contested I know they’re gonna fight me on this see if they’re willing to give up certain things if there’s some compromise there even if you guys don’t agree with everything at least that’s narrow down you know the things that you guys have to have a judge decide on and so if you do have an agreement then yeah you get with an attorney we drop these things up for you properly anticipating things that you can’t anticipate so again don’t try to draft your own settlement agreement or print something out online but make sure that if you think we can have this conversation that I speak with my spouse about this of course you’re not gonna have this conversation when you guys are angry maybe you set up a dinner date maybe you set up something to wear hey the air is clear and listen I want to tell you you know I don’t think this is working out what do you think about a divorce and the next question should be what is it that you out of this and then you should be able to articulate what you want out of the divorce you never know you guys may be on the same page alright I’m attorney Terry s Heron you’re a divorce attorney and I have a lot of great information for you and we are here to serve you so if you want to set up an appointment definitely give us a call set up an appointment with us to come in to talk about moving forward with your divorce thanks so much have a great day.

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