Tips Before Seeking a Divorce

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, getting a divorce from your spouse is the only option you have. But it’s a big decision – not something you should just jump into feet first.

The truth is, there is a lot to understand about the divorce process. There’s also a lot of information, some not very accurate, floating around about divorce, which can make things more complicated to understand.

Just as with other situations in life, each divorce case is different. But in general, there are factors you should be aware of before seeking a divorce. Read on to find out what those things are.

Things to Avoid

There are some things you do not want to do, even if you know your relationship is broken beyond the point of no return. You should avoid taking these actions prior to initiating a divorce:

Don’t Threaten

It’s not a good idea to threaten to get a divorce until you’re actually ready to file for one. If you tell your partner you want a divorce, they may start the planning process without you and position themselves better. Take time and plan things carefully. Once your affairs are all in order, file for divorce.

Avoid Getting Organized

A lot of paperwork is involved in the divorce process. You can save yourself time and money by getting all of your documents in order to provide them to your divorce attorney as they are needed. Get together important documents, like:

  • Your tax statements
  • Investments
  • Mortgage documents
  • Stocks
  • Family trusts
  • Retirement account statements

Make sure to make copies of them for your own records.

Spend Too Much Money

You need to have sufficient funds on hand when you go through a divorce – up to three months’ worth of funds to help pay your way. It’s not unusual for divorces to cause people to become spiteful. You could get cut off by your spouse financially when they find out you’ve filed for divorce.

Prevalent Divorce Myths

Getting your affairs in order before a divorce means that you need to operate with both feet planted firmly in reality. This also means that you need to know the truth behind some common divorce myths.

These include:

If You Initiate the Divorce, You Have an Advantage

Sometimes people are worried that if one party initiates the divorce, the court will look on them more favorably. This is simply not the case. The person filing for divorce has no legal rights over the other spouse, especially because Minnesota is a no-fault divorce state. That means there is no one party who can be held at fault.

If Leave Your Home, You’re Abandoning Your Property

Many people think that if they are the ones who leave their home, they give up their equity in it. Moving out does not mean you give up equity in your home. While the judge may be more apt to grant the ownership of the home to the person living there, they often have to buy out your domestic equity.

It’s Common for People to Be Legally Separated

You do not have to be legally separated before you get a divorce. Legal separation is one route people can take as an alternative to a divorce, but the processes are almost exactly the same. If you want to ultimately get a divorce, then the legal separation isn’t something you need to do first.

About the Author:

Andrew T. Poole is a Minnesota native who has served in the Army for more than 18 years and is currently a JAG lawyer in the Army Reserves in addition to serving as a partner at LaCourse, Poole & Envall. He has handled thousands of criminal and family law cases over the course of his career and has a firm belief that all hardworking Minnesotans should be entitled to the best possible legal counsel. Mr. Poole boasts a 10/10 Superb rating on Avvo, is Lead Counsel rated, and has been recognized multiple times by SuperLawyers, National Trial Lawyers, and others for his work.

About the Author:

A lifelong Minnesotan, founding partner Ronald R. Envall has spent his entire legal career fighting for the little guy, focusing on workers’ compensation, Social Security, and personal injury cases. He has been recognized by SuperLawyers as a Top Rated attorney in Duluth, placing him in the top 5 percent of all workers comp lawyers across the state. In his free time, Mr. Envall serves on the boards of several area government and nonprofit organizations and is a member of the Minnesota Association for Justice, which supports consumer rights.

About the Author:

A former Assistant Public Defender for the Sixth Judicial District in Duluth and former staff attorney for the Indian Legal Assistance Program, Brent R. Olson is an experienced trial lawyer who has appeared in every Courthouse in the Sixth Judicial District and taken over three dozen cases to verdict. At LaCourse, Poole & Envall, Mr. Envall focuses on family law, workers’ compensation, and criminal defense. He has a strong belief in restorative justice and helped to develop the Domestic Violence Restorative Circles program.