If you know your marriage is headed for a divorce, you are probably wondering how you can prepare yourself and what you need to do to get the divorce process started. Divorce is a complicated topic and one that can be life-changing – for good or for worse depending on the circumstances – so being prepared and covering all your bases is crucial.
Everyone wants to enter their divorce as prepared as possible but doing so is not always as easy as it sounds. Divorce can be overwhelming; however, the following items can help get you started on the right foot:
- Information – Assemble information and documentation regarding the assets and liabilities of you and your spouse’s estate as well as each individual’s income and earnings. Make copies of the documentation so that you have records of such information in the event that your spouse tries to retain the records or keeps such information hidden.
- Representation – Decide on when and who to meet with for your legal representation. The selection of an experienced and skilled attorney can make the difference in whether the divorce proceeds in a favorable manner and your interests are protected.
- Claims to be Raised – Consider the issues and claims that exist and must be addressed as part of the divorce, including division and distribution of the assets and liabilities of the estate, support, alimony, maintenance of insurance, custody, and others. How such claims are handled under Pennsylvania law must also be considered in deciding on the proper and most effective pursuit of such claims.
- Resolution or Proceeding to Court – A divorce proceeding is initiated with the filing of a complaint. However, before the filing of a complaint, parties must consider whether and how to pursue the settlement and the timing of any filing. Once a decision has been made to proceed through the court system, a divorce complaint is drafted and filed. Thereafter, service of the complaint is made on the other party.
- Moving Forward – The case will move forward through the chain and procedures established by the rules of the court, including the use of discovery, conciliations for settlement discussions, and possibly a hearing if no resolution is reached by way of agreement. The final step will be the issuance of a divorce decree officially concluding the marriage.
By taking the above items into consideration, you can prepare yourself and know what to expect as you start the divorce process. Additionally, leaning on a knowledgeable attorney that you trust is key and can help you navigate all the issues that may come up during your journey.
Related: Learn more about what to expect during a divorce.
Our lawyers have the experience to advise you on which course will resolve your divorce in the best manner possible, always in accord with the outcomes most important to you. To learn more about what our experienced attorneys at Wilder Mahood McKinley & Oglesby can do to help you, contact us online or call our office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at 412-261-4040.
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