Going through a divorce can take a financial, emotional, and even physical toll on you. At Koiles Pratt Family Law Group, our experienced attorneys guide our clients through the entire process. Discover how to get ready for a divorce in Massachusetts below.
Learn About Massachusetts Divorce Law
In Massachusetts, married individuals have several types of divorce at their disposal. You can educate yourself regarding your legal options by reading our divorce blog. In the meantime, here are some of your divorce options:
- Litigation — Lengthy, costly, and contentious option when spouses cannot agree
- Attorney-assisted Settlement — Amicable, cost-effective, no-fault agreement
- Mediation — Neutral, the certified mediator works with both parties and their attorneys
- DIY Divorce — Inexpensive, risky process laden with potential pitfalls
Gather Required Documents and Other Evidence
Set your mind at ease by preparing all of your documentation far in advance. If you don’t know how to prepare for a divorce in MA, our knowledgeable attorneys at Koiles Pratt Family Law Group can walk you through it. Some of the items our attorneys might ask you to collect include:
- Tax returns and pay stubs
- Bank and credit card statements
- Mortgage and auto loan statements
- Retirement account information
- Passports or immigration documents
- Birth certificates of any children
Manage Your Finances
If you haven’t kept a close eye on your financial situation in the past, now is the time to start. Even under the best circumstances, divorce can be expensive. Not only will you need to pay your attorney’s retainer, but you will also have to determine your cost of living as a single person.
You can prepare for divorce by maintaining an individual bank account and stopping intermingling funds with your spouse. You should only put money into a joint bank account to cover childcare costs and other agreed-upon expenses. Do not withdraw large sums of money from your joint bank accounts and retirement accounts because it may draw the suspicion of the judge or mediator.
Create a Childcare Journal in Case of a Custody Dispute
If you have children with your current spouse and wish to maintain custody or visitation, start a childcare journal to record your involvement with the kids. Ideally, you want to prove that you transport your children to school, doctor’s appointments, and soccer practice at least 50% of the time. Likewise, record how much time each child spends in your care versus your spouse’s care.
Retain a Veteran Divorce Lawyer
Perhaps the most crucial step in preparing for a Massachusetts divorces is to vet and retain a qualified family law attorney. Make sure you thoroughly research each attorney, checking for depth of experience, reputation among other divorce lawyers, case history, and more.
How to get started
Put your life back in order by learning how to prepare for a divorce in MA. Contact Koiles Pratt Family Law Group for support as you prepare for your new life.