What steps should I take before I consider getting a divorce? 8 Answers as of June 26, 2015

My husband and I have been separated for a while, and before I consider getting a divorce, need some legal advice before I decide on what to do about my marriage. What are the necessary steps I need to take to secure things financially on my end? He has owned a large business for a while, and also owns two houses in two other states.

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James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
Contact an attorney.. The longer you remain separated the more likely you will not have any claim on his property in a divorce.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/26/2015
S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
The first consideration is whether you are so unhappy in your marriage that you really want to divorce your spouse. If you do wish to proceed a person would have five major issues to consider: 1) the dissolution of the marriage (usually through no fault proceedings); 2) custody and visitation rights of any children of the marriage; 3) child support, if any; 4) spousal support, if any (often awarded only on a temporary basis as alimony pendente lite); and 5) the division of any property acquired by the spouses during the course of the marriage, including the appreciation in value of any property that may have been maintained as separate property. If your spouse owns a business and has two houses in other states you should being consulting (and retaining) an attorney who handles divorce cases, for this will probably be too complex for you to attempt on your own (pro se).
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 6/25/2015
Law Offices of Robert Burns
Law Offices of Robert Burns | Robert Burns
You need to get responsible about this. You won't get the necessary information off the internet. You need to hire an attorney and deal with the many facets of your divorce.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/25/2015
Law Office of Martin A. Kahan | Martin A. Kahan
You should consult with a family law attorney who can advise you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/25/2015
Law Office of Barton R. Resnicoff | Barton R. Resnicoff
While you will need to get more information about his finances, the best way to get that done is in the divorce action unless he will voluntarily provide that before an action is started. Realistically, the quicker you proceed to dissolve the marriage, the easier it will be to find out what there is and the best way to divide it. How long have you been separated? What assets did each of you have at the time of the marriage; at the time of the separation; and what happened afterward? Without more information(including the answers to the questions above), I could not guess at the end result or what you should expect; but, proceeding sooner rather than later, will resolve those issues and you will get the information you need to make reasonable decisions.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/25/2015
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    A lot of your concerns will be best addressed when you commence your divorce action and get the legal protections through discovery and court orders controlling property. Please meet with an experienced family law attorney to assess your potentially complicated family law matter.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/24/2015
    Law Office of Eric S. Lumberg | Eric S. Lumberg
    Consult with an attorney to discuss all issues involved in a divorce and any steps needed to protect your interests. This consultation should address all concerns and questions and then you can decide how best to proceed.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/24/2015
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    First things first: Retain an experienced family law attorney. Such a person can prevent lots of pitfalls ad the expense is nearly always worth it. As to preliminary steps: do your best to get the most recent information on all the property which either or both of you own: the address and legal description of real estate, and the appraised or assessed value. The same goes for all bank and investment accounts, and retirement funds. If you have joint accounts, you might consider setting up a separate account in your own name and taking no more than one-half of the money in the joint account(s). Make copies of all these documents, and all your and his income tax returns for the past five years or so. If he accepts cash for any work he does, see if you can locate any records he keeps. Beyond that, consult with your lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 6/24/2015
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