Divorce Quick Start Guide

If you are preparing for a divorce in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, here are some tips to get ready for your initial consultation with your divorce lawyer.

When preparing for a divorce, there are many considerations you need to keep in mind. At the outset, one of the most important considerations to take into account is this: Getting divorced is not an event, it is a process. During this process, you will want to make sure that you are making informed decisions and taking the right steps to prepare for your post-marriage life, and this starts with getting a clear picture of your personal, financial and family circumstances.

With this in mind, our Divorce Quick Start Guide is designed to help you get ready for the first step in the divorce process: speaking with a divorce attorney for a confidential, initial consultation. Here are five tips to get you started thinking about some of the important questions you will need to answer during your divorce.

Getting Ready for Your Divorce

  1. Collect Your Family’s Financial Information and Make a List of Assets One of the first things you should do is attempt to gather your and your spouse’s financial information. This includes sources of income, assets, and debts. As a result, to prepare for your divorce, you should:
    • Make sure you know how to access all of your savings, checking, and retirement accounts.
    • Collect prior years’ tax returns, including any Schedules/attachments.
    • Make copies of any W-2’s, 1099’s, K-1’s and any other documents showing sources of ordinary, investment, or retirement income.
    • Make a list of you and your spouse’s assets and debts. Most people have more assets than they realize, and at this point, you should err on the side of being over-inclusive. Walk around your home and write down anything you see that has value, and be sure to include property that may be stored in other locations.
    If you do not know or are unable to gather the above information for any reason, you should advise your attorney as soon as possible so that he/she can promptly take the necessary steps to obtain the information by other means. However, it will save you a considerable amount in overall legal fees if you can gather the required financial information on your own instead of having your attorney spend the additional time obtaining it.
  2. Start Thinking about Your Post-Divorce Living Arrangements When your divorce is over, do you want to remain in the family home? Or, are you prepared to find a new residence? If you have children, what type of custody and visitation schedule would make sense given your children’s needs and your circumstances? These are not easy questions, and now is the time to start searching for answers.
  3. Start Thinking About What Matters Most to You in Your Divorce Every divorce involves a level of compromise. Whether that compromise is voluntary or court-ordered, it is a necessary part of the divorce process. As a result, going into your divorce, it is essential to decide what matters most to you. For many people, this includes some combination of the following:
    • Child custody and visitation rights
    • Keeping the family home
    • Financial support from your spouse (alimony or child support)
    • Making sure you get to keep certain items of property in the equitable distribution of your marital assets
  4. Dust Off Your Prenuptial Agreement If you and your spouse signed a prenuptial agreement, you would want to bring a copy to your initial consultation. Your contract may or may not be enforceable; but, if it is, it could play a significant role in determining what you can expect from your divorce.
  5. Start Thinking about What Method Might Work Best for Your Divorce Finally, it would be best if you think realistically about how well you and your spouse may work together to finalize your divorce. While litigation will sometimes be unavoidable, spouses can often settle early on without resorting to extended court proceedings even when there is a significant amount of ill-will. Options such as private negotiations or mediation can all lead to amicable resolutions while saving time, money, and stress for all parties involved. Regardless of the method you choose to use, you should retain an attorney to represent you during the process so that your interests are protected, and your goals are achieved.

Family Law Services Navigation
Get Started with Your Divorce – Call for a Free 15-Minute Phone Consultation Today
For more information about preparing for your divorce, we invite you to contact the Law Office of Blake W. Rush for a free, confidential phone consultation. In-person consultations are also available. It is never too early to start planning. Call (908) 713-9800 or contact us online today.
Schedule a Free Consultation

What Some of Our Clients Say

Your knowledge of the court system and divorce process in the State of New Jersey was exemplary. Your professionalism, knowledge, intuition, and management are to be commended, and I would certainly recommend your services to anyone seeking legal representation in similar family matters.
Edward W.
I always will recommend Blake Rush as a lawyer for anyone facing the same battle such as custody. He will work hard within the court systems and guide you the whole way….I will always be grateful to Blake Rush for helping me save my son.
Tara W.
Blake represented me during a very difficult time. His patience, availability and willingness to explain the process was never ending. Blake was always well prepared during the court proceedings and mediations that were scheduled. He always made sure I knew what to expect and understood the process. He truly cares about his clients. I would not hesitate to recommend Blake
Denise C.
Blake Rush has represented me for over 4 years through very difficult times including divorce, child support and child custody. Blake was always well prepared for every hearing, very knowledgeable in the law and interpretation of the law. Blake also explained the law, provided guidance and recommendations so I had the information so I can make informed decisions. Blake has
Linda B.