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Preparing for Divorce 

Law Office of MariAnn Hathaway  May 20, 2024

Women take off wedding ring thinking about divorceDivorce is one of those journeys no one hopes to take, but sometimes, it ends up being the necessary route to finding personal joy and peace again. It's more than just getting the legal documents in order; it's about getting your heart and mind ready for what's to come and laying out a plan that looks after your interests throughout.  

At the Law Office of MariAnn Hathaway, located in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, we understand the emotional and legal issues involved in this process. Our aim is to guide clients throughout Washington County with compassion and professionalism, ensuring they are well-prepared to move forward. Here are some essential strategies for getting ready for a divorce, making sure you feel supported and in the know from start to finish. 

Before You File: Key Considerations

The decision to pursue a divorce should not be taken lightly. It's crucial to evaluate your situation thoroughly and consider several key aspects before moving forward: 

  • Counseling: Exploring counseling, either individually or as a couple, can provide clarity on whether the decision to divorce is the right one. It may help address unresolved issues or confirm the necessity of parting ways. 

  • Type of Divorce: Familiarize yourself with the types of divorce processes available, such as contested, collaborative, and mediation. Each has its procedures, costs, and emotional toll, which should be considered in light of your specific circumstances. 

  • Living Situation: Consider your current living situation and how it may change post-divorce. Planning ahead can alleviate some of the stress and uncertainty that comes with such transitions. It's critical to assess your financial abilities and explore housing options that work for you. 

  • Children: If children are involved, their well-being should be a top priority. Plan how you will break the news to them, and arrange custody, child support, and visitation arrangements with your spouse. Keep in mind that maintaining open communication with your children throughout the process is crucial. 

By considering counseling, familiarizing yourself with the type of divorce that best suits your situation, and planning your future living arrangements, you can approach this challenging time with more confidence and clarity. At the Law Office of MariAnn Hathaway, we are committed to supporting you every step of the way, ensuring that you are informed and prepared for the next chapter of your life. 

What Steps Should You Take to Prepare for a Divorce? 

Preparing for the divorce process involves strategic planning and organization. These steps are designed to protect your interests and prepare you for the next chapter of your life: 

Step 1. Hire an Experienced Family Law Attorney 

The guidance of a knowledgeable attorney is invaluable. We at the Law Office of MariAnn Hathaway are committed to representing your interests and navigating the legal intricacies of your divorce with diligence and care. 

Step 2. Secure Assets and Accounts 

Secure your financial well-being by understanding what assets and accounts you own jointly and individually. This step prevents potential misuse of funds and ensures fair distribution. 

Step 3. Make Copies of Important Documents 

Gather and make copies of all essential documents, such as bank statements, retirement account statements, and mortgage documents. Cancel joint accounts and update personal passwords to ensure your financial security. 

Step 4. Gather Personal Information 

Compile detailed information on both you and your spouse, including proof of residency, employment details, and any other pertinent personal data. This information will be crucial during the divorce proceedings. 

Step 5. Assess Your Financial Situation 

Understanding your current financial situation is critical. This includes being aware of your income, monthly expenses, and potential post-divorce financial needs. 

Step 6. Figure Out What You Have and What You’ll Need 

Inventory your possessions and assess what you will require to start anew. This includes everything from furniture to vehicles, ensuring you have a clear picture of your assets. 

Step 7. Gather Information on Any Debt 

Identify and document all marital debt. Understanding your debt obligations is just as important as dividing assets. 

Step 8. Identify Personal/Married Property 

Differentiate between personal and marital property. Collect paperwork for all significant assets, which will play a crucial role in the division process. 

Step 9. Collect Legal Documents 

Organize all legal documents, including tax returns, insurance policies, and documents related to any shared businesses. These documents are essential for a comprehensive understanding of your joint and individual legal and financial status. 

Take Your Next Steps Forward

Divorce signifies the end of one chapter and the beginning of another, and being well-prepared can significantly ease the transition. At the Law Office of MariAnn Hathaway, we're dedicated to supporting our clients through these challenging times with empathy and professionalism. Our goal is to ensure that you emerge from this process with the clarity and resources needed to start anew confidently. 

Remember, you're not alone. If you're in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, or anywhere in Washington County, and facing the prospect of divorce, reach out to us. We're here to help you go through this process, protecting your rights and helping you secure your future.