Chances are, if you are contemplating divorce, you are not the only one. This is especially true if you’re married to a highly narcissistic or otherwise personality-disordered spouse. These types seem to always prepare for the inevitable because their relationships don’t seem to work (it’s never their fault), and their general fear of intimacy triggers them to feel suffocated or out-of-control if you expect equity from them.
If your spouse is contemplating divorce and they have already consulted a Northern Virginia divorce attorney, you may be at a serious disadvantage. Opposing counsel can instruct your spouse on the nuances of Virginia divorce laws and measures they can take to create or preserve evidence beneficial to them at trial. Opposing counsel can also instruct your spouse on how to manage or hide financial activity to limit their financial divorce liability. Finally, opposing counsel can provide advice to your spouse on the timing of when to file for divorce; perhaps your spouse is waiting for the right moment to file. You simply can’t know until you consult an attorney.
The end of this article describes the unique service Keithley Law, PLLC, PLLC offers for early-bird pre-divorce planning, to make sure you are well-guarded against not just your spouse, but also their lawyer.
3 Things You Need to Know During the Pre-Divorce Stage
Every lawyer loves a well-prepared client, and the documents you provide during the initial consultation could be essential in convincing an attorney to take your case. Additionally, the documents might be more available to you now, while you are still pre-divorce, then when the litigation die has been already cast.
Here are 3 Things to Do While Waiting to File for Divorce:
- Gather and organize your financial records. Gather at least the most recent three years’ of W-2s and other tax documents for both of you. Gather documents about your assets, such as cars and real estate, that help establish the true value of your equity in that property. If you have a joint bank account, collect statements going back at least three years. Gather all documents that you can find related to retirement and investment accounts.
- Collect and preserve evidence. Why are you getting this divorce? Has your spouse been abusive? Abandoned you? Been unfaithful? Perhaps you are two persons who have simply grown apart and likely weren’t compatible when the marriage began. Regardless, the conduct of the parties in the years and months prior to and after filing is highly relevant to demonstrate the intents of the parties. This is especially true if child custody issues are involved. Therefore, it is necessary to collect or preserve evidence of conduct that could be used to demonstrate the intent of the parties. Save family photographs; keep a diary; save old calendars; even children’s drawings can be dispositive in the mire of divorce litigation.
- Consult with a Fairfax divorce attorney. An attorney can help you strategically plan for litigation and identify what additional documents and records you should collect.
Help! This Article Applies to Me! What Should I Do?
Keithley Law, PLLC, PLLC can provide you with an hour-long initial consultation even if you haven’t filed for divorce or you aren’t sure if you want to file for divorce yet. Even if you are a month, year, or years away from making that decision, we can give you a good snapshot of what the difficulties of your specific situation might be and provide you with a game plan on how to manage your pre-divorce period wisely.
Contact us today for an initial consultation. We can be reached at (703) 454-5147, or you can fill out an online case evaluation form here.