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Top 5 Ways to Prepare for a Divorce Proceeding in GA

If your marriage cannot be fixed and you have decided to file for a Georgia divorce, I recommend you start preparing now so that the process goes more smoothly and you can start your new life more quickly. Here are my top 5 ways to start getting organized for a Georgia divorce proceeding:

1. Make copies of all financial records. You are going to need copies to show the judge so that things like alimony and child support amounts can be fairly calculated. Also, when it comes to dividing up financial assets like your primary residence, jointly-owned rental property, or a business owned by both spouses, your judge will need to examine these documents. Also gather the last 5 years of your joint tax returns.

2. Make yourself aware of family expenses, i.e., how much it costs you to live each month. Sometimes one spouse will handle all the day-to-day living expenses and thus the other spouse will know little about mortgage payments, school tuition, health insurance premiums, and car payments. Try to make copies of as many financial documents as you can. Log into financial accounts on the web and download statements. Now is not the time to miss something important. Plus, you may not have much time to gather these documents if the other spouse isn’t aware of an imminent divorce.

3. Think of how you could reasonably envision your life post-divorce. It’s a tremendous help to visualize how you new life will look and how much happier you will be. If you focus on your new future, you are less likely to get bogged down in past emotions and perceived wrongs. Now is the time to remove as much emotion as you can from the divorce proceeding so that you draw strength from being calm, cool, and level-headed.

4. If you have minor children together, think through what sort of parenting plan would be in their best interests. Both parents should want their kids to stay during the week with the parent who is committed to helping with homework every night, and getting the kids fed and off to school on time each morning. Then on the weekends the children can live with the other parent. Your final divorce decree will contain a very detailed parenting plan that spells out who has the kids on every major holiday, during spring break, and even on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. This is a great place to negotiate for the days most important to you – as long as it’s in the children’s best interest.

5. If you have been delaying costly medical procedures, consider taking care of them prior to separating. For practical reasons you want to get these procedures done while you are still covered by your spouse’s health insurance. Having to pay out of pocket deductibles on your own can be a struggle, especially with divorce costs looming. Also, you may want to have any surgeries done while you are still together so you are fully recovered and have the energy to see the divorce through.