What to Do if Your Wife (or Husband) Wants a Divorce in Arizona
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It is unfortunate, but some people need to know what to do if your wife (or husband) wants a divorce in Arizona.
If you have reason to believe that your marriage is broken, and there’s no way to redeem it, it makes sense to expect divorce.
Planning for divorce requires that you take certain measures as early as possible.
If you believe that divorce is imminent, you should take the seven steps below to prepare and safeguard your interests.
#1: Talk to an Experienced Divorce Attorney
It’s important to learn what your legal rights and responsibilities are in the event of divorce.
For instance, it might occur to you to move out for the duration of the divorce proceedings.
Legally, however, this would be a mistake.
Once you leave your marital home, you likely lose the ability to move back in.
Your spouse’s attorneys may accuse you of abandoning the family.
The bottom line is, if your name is on the mortgage, you have a right and duty to stay.
It’s important to talk to an attorney before you make a move of any kind.
#2: Get Copies of All Important Documents
If you are to receive your fair share in divorce, you need to have proof of what your spouse makes, and what their assets are.
Once divorce proceedings begin, however, you may no longer have access to the documents that you need.
It’s important to make copies of every important document as early as possible.
If your spouse runs their own business, you should obtain copies of data to do with their business finances.
If the home computer has financial data, you should copy the data for your own use.
You should also go through all the financial records at home, and make copies of check registers, bank statements, mortgage papers, credit card statements, car ownership papers, and Social Security papers.
#3: Create an Inventory of All Personal Property
Whatever valuables you may possess as a family, like vehicles, art and so on, you should make a list of it all.
You don’t want to forget possessions in safe-deposit boxes or self-storage facilities, either.
If there is jewelry, you should have it valued.
#4 Understand Your Monthly Household Expenses
You should carefully go through the family’s credit card statements for each month, and through the family checkbook register to find out what expenses are each month.
You also need to carefully keep track of how much money you personally spend each month so that you have figures to offer when you apply for alimony.
#5 Understand the Amount of Your Monthly Debt Payments
Whatever debts you may service each month as a family, you need to realize that they will be apportioned between both parties when the court grants a divorce.
It would be a good idea to pay down as much of your marital debt as possible before the divorce.
You also need to determine if there are debts that originate from before the marriage.
Responsibility for non-marital debt belongs to the spouse who took it out.
#6 Secure Documents to Prove What Your Spouse Earns
While you can look at your spouse’s paystub to see what they make, there could be other sources of income that you’re not aware of.
Your spouse could have a company expense account that they use for personal purposes or a company car for personal use.
If your spouse runs a business, some of the income could be in the form of cash.
You need to do your best to find proof of your spouse’s income, whatever form it may be in.
#7: You Need to Take Care of Yourself
It’s important to make sure that you have the resources that you need to survive on your own once you get divorced.
Take a close look at your earning potential, and sign up for further education if it will help you.
If you don’t work already, you should begin looking for a job.
You will need decent credit to make your own way in the world.
Check your credit score, and see what you can do to improve it.
You also need to build savings of your own.
If your spouse stops paying the utility bills, for example, you will need money until temporary support orders are in place.
Planning for divorce requires that you think ahead and act to protect your interests.
While you may not be used to investigating what your spouse makes, what the family assets are, or thinking about your financial needs, you should begin to do it all.
The sooner you begin to take steps, the better the position is that you will be in.
If you have questions about what to do if your wife (or husband) wants a divorce in Arizona, you should seriously consider contacting the attorneys at Hildebrand Law, PC. Our Arizona divorce and family law attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience successfully representing clients in divorce and family law cases.
Our family law firm has earned numerous awards such as US News and World Reports Best Arizona Family Law Firm, US News and World Report Best Divorce Attorneys, “Best of the Valley” by Arizona Foothills readers, and “Best Arizona Divorce Law Firms” by North Scottsdale Magazine.
Call us today at (480)305-8300 or reach out to us through our appointment scheduling form to schedule your personalized consultation and turn your Arizona divorce or family law case around today.