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Prepare for a potentially contentious divorce

Whether the word "divorce" filled you with dread or a sense of relief, you now face the potentially long and difficult legal process associated with ending your marriage. If you and your spouse faced a number of disagreements during your relationship, which likely contributed to the ending of it, you may anticipate a case that goes to court and likely ends with a judge making the final decisions.

Divorce litigation is not uncommon, but it does differ from case to case. As a result, it is wise for you to understand what you could face and how you could help yourself handle the proceedings ahead. By taking an active approach to preparation, you may feel more in control and ready to face any conflict ahead.

How can you prepare?

Even if you do not anticipate it going well, it may be worthwhile to try to have a conversation with your soon-to-be ex about what each of you expects from the case. You may face a pleasant surprise and find that your spouse is willing to negotiate, but in the event that does not happen, you could help yourself work toward the outcomes you desire through the following actions:

  • Make a list of all of your assets, including real estate, business interests, automobiles, investment accounts, personal items and much more.
  • Make an inventory of all your debts, including personal and joint debt you hold with your spouse.
  • Consider your current living expenses, what you would need to maintain your lifestyle after divorce and what you may have to compromise on. 
  • Gather documents that will likely prove useful to your divorce case, including any divorce-related documents, such as a prenuptial agreement, financial records, estate planning documents, retirement account information and more.
  • Avoid posting anything to social media while your divorce is underway.
  • Keep track of any cash-paid expenses or withdrawals, especially if you suspect your spouse may try to hide assets.
  • Keep a log of who handles household duties and care of the children, if you have any.

This information could play an important role during your case. Some of it could even act as evidence to bolster any arguments you have for wanting a certain outcome. For example, if you believe that primary custody of the kids should go to you, having a log of the things you do for the children could be helpful. Of course, anytime you face the possibility of conflict, you want someone on your side. Fortunately, you can enlist the help of an experienced Alabama attorney who could help you prepare.

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