St. Petersburg, FL – A divorce is always a life changing event. The problems associated with divorce can be exacerbated if one of the spouses is unprepared and suddenly served with papers to end the marriage. If this happens, it is absolutely crucial for the person’s future that they get legal help and start to take some basic steps to protect their own personal interests. Otherwise, they may be haunted by financial problems or issues with child custody for years afterward.
Money and financial issues
A divorce is likely to cause the biggest problems in terms of a person’s finances and investments. The person should gather important financial documents related to their personal property, real property and real estate, investments, and income. This can help prove ownership, and it is also necessary to disclose income in most divorce cases. Bank accounts and statements, as well as credit cards and the debt associated with these cards can all become issues in a divorce case as well. If one spouse was paying the utility bills, these should be copied and available as well.
Any other important financial concerns should be shared in confidence with a family law attorney.
Some couples are required to attend marriage counseling before their divorce. This can both help to determine if it is really necessary to end the marriage, and it can help provide support for anyone who needs help while transitioning into their new life. The counselor may be able to provide a combination of practical advice about divorces, as well as ways to minimize stress and keep emotions in check.
A couple will need copies of their marriage certificate, property disposition documents like wills and trusts, professional licenses, and any agreements that may affect the marriage such as a prenuptial contract. If the couple can agree on many issues about their separation, they should also try to create a marriage settlement with the help of a family attorney or a mediator. Uncontested issues that end up in the settlement can help the divorce go much more quickly.
Things like homes and cars tend to be highly contested in divorce cases, as these have often been shared for years. If any real estate or cars are titled in one person’s name, they should get the title and try to retain ownership. Improvements to the home should also be documented, especially if they had a high price tag.
Meeting with local family lawyers
The Law Offices of Yeazell and Sweet is a firm that focuses on divorce and family law cases in the St. Petersburg, Florida area. Anyone who needs help with these issues can get in touch with an attorney at the firm to learn more.
Firm contact info:
1901 Ulmerton Road, Suite 435, Clearwater, FL 33762