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It is important to talk to an attorney before filing for divorce

If you've made a decision to divorce, you are probably anxious to move out of your home, get the legal paperwork filed and start the next chapter of your life.

However, getting help from an experienced family law attorney before moving - and before actually filing anything - is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself. A divorce attorney will help you make a plan to navigate the days and weeks ahead with as little disruption as possible, while looking out for your best interests.

One of the key advantages to being deliberate, and to taking a planned approach to your divorce is that you will have access to key financial documents in your home before you take action. This includes things like bank and brokerage account statements, insurance policies, real estate records, tax returns, etc. By copying and organizing these records before telling your spouse you are filing for divorce, you won't need to worry that your spouse may try to hide or control that information.

Having access to the actual financial records and documentation lessens the chances that your assets will be accidentally overvalued or undervalued. It can also help ensure you don't end up making large spouse support payments that you can't afford and your spouse does not really need.

If you file for divorce before getting legal help, and your spouse bars you from entering the home or hides or destroys financial information, you could end up setting dangerous status quos concerning child custody and spousal support - that will be difficult to undo.

Divorce is never an easy process, but working with an attorney to make and follow a plan will put you in a better position. Once you have a legal strategy in place, you'll be able to move forward armed with information instead of just being armed with emotions.

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