Divorce Preparation – Things to Consider Before Filing

 In Divorce Law

Considering and filing for a divorce can be an overwhelming and stressful time. Taking the time to research and prepare for what’s ahead can make divorce proceedings less overwhelming. Here are a few things to consider before filing for divorce.

Consider Your Options

Prior to filing, make sure you have given thorough thought and consideration to the step you are taking. While it may seem obvious, divorce is often filed for in highly emotional situations. It is difficult to reverse the proceedings once they have started. If you have any hopes of reconciling your marriage, make sure you have gone through the appropriate steps before filing.

State Laws

Take the time to research the divorce laws for your state. Make sure you understand your rights and what may be asked of you during proceedings. Each state handles subjects such as community property, fault, and custody differently. Ensuring you have a basic understanding of your state’s laws will make the proceedings less overwhelming.


It is a good idea to speak to several attorneys before deciding who will represent you. Attorneys have many different areas of expertise and experience levels, as well as a range of fees. Talk with each attorney about your goals and what you would like to see happen throughout the proceedings. Make sure to find an attorney that listens to you, understands your goals, and is willing to help you work through this difficult time in your life. If your divorce is likely to be complex, make sure you find an attorney with the ability and experience to handle your specific situation. Finding an attorney that you are comfortable with is key to a less stressful proceeding.


Divorce proceedings rely heavily on documentation. From financial documents to phone records and car notes, any of these may be relevant to your proceedings. Make sure you have copies of all of the necessary records before filing divorce papers. Having copies of records available before you meet with your attorney will make the proceedings go more smoothly and save stress down the road.


Determine your assets and debts and make a list before meeting with your attorney. Having this information available makes it easier to see how to divide up the marital estate and determine financial goals for the divorce. Knowing this information can also play into helping your properly budget for the divorce proceedings. Discuss any joint bank accounts or credit cards with your attorney to determine whether to close, divide, or keep the accounts the same based on your personal situation. If you have the sale or purchase of any personal property on the horizon, make sure it is complete before filing. Once you have filed for divorce, most jurisdictions will put a hold on any purchases or sales being made to prevent either party from draining bank accounts or selling personal property out of spite.


Decided what your goals are for custody of any children you may have with your spouse. In most cases, you will end up sharing custody, so if you can figure out a solid plan to share custody before filing for divorce it will make the proceedings that much simpler.

Life During and After Divorce

When a divorce is happening, it is a trying time for the individuals involved, as well as their families. Make sure you have a solid support system that you can lean on and talk to throughout the proceedings. Figure out your living situation, if possible, before filing. Knowing your preferred outcome for the residence, whether you or your spouse should move out, and where you might go, are all important aspects to consider. Even though you are considering your marriage over, hold off on pursuing any romantic relationships until the divorce is finalized. Starting a romantic relationship before finalizing your divorce, in most cases, will not help your situation and can possibly be used against you in court. Discuss with your attorney how to handle any of these types of situations.

Filing for a divorce can be stressful and overwhelming, but the Slaughter Law Firm is here to help. Contact us for an initial consultation today!