Like any major life-changing decision, filing for divorce requires preparation both emotionally and strategically, particularly when children are involved. This means that if you are contemplating filing for divorce, you should seek mental health counseling for the battle you will be facing and the drastic changes that will occur the moment you file for divorce and after you get divorced.
From a strategic standpoint, you should always seek the counsel of a Florida licensed attorney. Many attorneys offer a free initial legal consult. You should avail yourself of a free legal consult and ask as many questions as you can and take good notes. Prior to filing for divorce you should gather as many financial documents as you can, make copies and scan those documents. Those documents and digital copies should be kept in a safe place where the other party cannot tamper with them. Among the financial documents you need to secure include, but are not limited to copies of tax records, bank statements, credit card statements, 401k and other retirement and/or investment statements, business records and any additional financial documents that you may not continue to have access after a separation or after the other party suspects that there may be a divorce in the future. You should also prepare a list of marital personal property and start taking pictures to document those items in contemplation of a divorce. If there is a safe in your home or there is a storage unit that you and your spouse use, please take picture of the contents and if there is anything of value therein (i.e. guns, collections, cash, etc.) have any property valued and please count the money and keep that information in a safe place. Also, make sure to keep copies of any keys for any storage units and safes. Again, after your spouse figures out that a divorce is coming, you may loose access to the storage unit and/or the safe. It is very important that you seek the counsel of an attorney that practices family law and is licensed in the State of Florida. You can visit the Florida Bar website (https://www.floridabar.org/) to verify the attorney’s admission to practice law in Florida and his/her areas of practice(s). Unfortunately, by the time people go to meet with an attorney, they have lost access to all the information they will need in the divorce, which may, in many cases, result in increased attorney fees in trying to secure those documents through other legal means.