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What Is the First Step To Getting a Divorce?

On Behalf of | Sep 12, 2021 | Family Law

While divorce is common in Tacoma, the processes vary depending on the specifics of your case. If you were in a short-term marriage with no kids, your divorce would likely be fast and uncomplicated. In long-term marriages, however, there may be plenty of hurdles to overcome.

They include marital debt, underage kids, and property entanglements. In addition, uncontested divorce cases will generally be simpler, cheaper, and less stressful. If you plan on getting a divorce, the first and most important thing to do is prepare. Here are the most important things to do in preparation for your divorce.

Get a Good Lawyer

You need a good lawyer right from the time you file for divorce. For most people, divorce is an emotionally and financially tasking process. Amidst the confusion, you may not know where to start.

If you don’t have the right legal representation, it could be much more complicated than it needs to be. Get a lawyer even if you haven’t fully decided what you want. Their legal advice is priceless.

File a Divorce Petition

Filing a divorce petition is essential regardless of whether you agree to the terms of the divorce. One spouse has to file a legal petition requesting the court to end the marriage. If you will be filing the petition, you need to include the following information:

  • A statement informing the court that either you or your spouse has met the divorce residency requirements
  • Legal grounds for your divorce

Usually, at least one of the divorcing parties needs to have lived in the state for three months or more. However, Washington State has no residency requirements.

If you choose to file a no-fault divorce, you don’t have to state the reason for your separation. You don’t need to place blame on the other party. However, you may claim fault for reasons like neglect, separation, and adultery. If you are unsure of the right way to file your divorce, consider getting the opinion of a Tacoma family law attorney. They will advise you depending on the nature of your case.

Prepare Your Finances

Divorce is not just a legal process. It affects your finances as well. The longer you have been married, the more expensive it may be. If you had a pre or post-marital agreement, it might be time to refer to it. The agreement could help simplify things for you.

Get copies of your retirement account statements, bank statements, and mortgage statements. All the relevant financial documents may come in handy later.

If you don’t have a clear picture of your financial situation, your spouse may conceal some assets and avoid fair negotiations. After gathering details of your assets, you need to collect details of your individual and shared debts as well. They include mortgages, credit card debt, and other financial obligations.

No one can be fully prepared for a divorce. However, there are a few ways to make the process easier for you, including getting a good lawyer, getting your finances in order, and filing a petition. Contact a Tacoma family law attorney to learn more.

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