If you're facing the prospect you may be about to get divorced, there are three things you should do to take care of yourself and make the process go as smoothly as possible. The first two steps have to do with money. The third has to do with kids.

First, you need access to enough financial resources to take care of yourself during the initial portion of the divorce. That can be a problem if you have a spouse that's always been in charge of the finances, that has access to all the money and could possibly cut you off, at least temporarily. You need to make sure you've got funds to pay your bills during the first part of the divorce. Make sure you have access to a credit card, something will allow you to support yourself, pay fees if you have to hire a lawyer, or if you're paying court fees.

The second thing is you need documentation related to what do you own (your assets). That includes things like the house, any investments, and business assets. Try to gather all that ahead of time, because if you have a fight about it or if it's difficult to obtain those records from your spouse or from other sources, you don't want to be doing that after the fact. If you can have those in hand when you go talk to an attorney, for example, it's really, really helpful to have that stuff up-front and it'll save you a lot of time and trouble and expense.

And the third part is if there are kids involved, you need to try to get help set up, whether it's relatives or a trusted friend that can help you to watch the kids, take care of the kids during times when you may be meeting with your attorney, when you may be having to go to court appearances and things like that.

So, if you can get those three things set up: access to financial resources, access to the documentation related to your property so you know what you have that's going to be actually divided in the divorce, and help taking care of the kids if kids are involved, that will make this process go a lot smoother and a lot easier for you to get it rolling.
David Todd
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Austin TX Family Law, Personal Injury and Eminent Domain Attorney