What To Do When Divorcing in the New Year

The start of a New Year is typically when many couples will file for divorce. If you are going to start the process of a divorce or if you have just received divorce papers, here are a few “To-Dos” to make sure you are properly prepared.

  1. Create a Budget: Although a divorce may be better for your mental health and also make you happier, in almost every divorce, it costs more to live separately than to live together. To help you prepare, you should create a budget. There are many budget worksheets that you can obtain for free. Having a budget will help you realize how much you will need and perhaps what expenses you can either reduce or eliminate.
  2. Gather and Organize Important Documents: Start getting all your important financial documents, including your bank statements, tax returns, W2 statements, retirement statements and credit card statements. Your attorney will need these statements. Most attorneys will accept electronic (pdf) copies, so you probably do not have to print out your statements.
  3. Get Your Credit Report: A Credit Report will help you identify your credit history, loans, and credit cards. You may discover that your spouse has been using your credit cards or taking out loans in your names. You should be able to obtain your credit report for free as there are a few websites that offer this service.
  4. Start Researching Attorneys Now: If you don’t have an attorney or don’t know one, you should start researching divorce attorneys now. Since so many couples choose to get a divorce in January, many divorce attorneys are very busy in January. Do your research as soon as possible and be flexible when you can meet your attorney.
  5. Find a Therapist/Counselor: Too many people make the mistake of using their divorce attorney as a therapist or counselor. A divorce attorney is not trained to be a therapist or counselor. In addition, it will cost you a lot less to see a therapist than to call your attorney for therapy.
  6. Make a List of Your Goals: Are you seeking sole custody? Joint custody? Are you looking to sell your house? Move out of your house? Do you want to retain your retirement assets? These are just a few of the goals that you may want and that your attorney will need to know.

If you will be seeking a divorce in the New Year or you have just been served with Divorce Papers (Summons or Complaint), then contact David Badanes at 631-239-1702.

You Have Been Served!!! What To Do Now?

If you have been served with divorce papers, here is what you need to do:

1. Don’t panic. Most likely, you know that your marriage has been failing. Although, you might be in shock that your spouse actually filed for divorce, there is no reason to panic. If you are going to handle your divorce, then you must stay level-headed.

2. Technically, you only have 20 days to respond to the divorce papers. However, if for some reason, you need more time, you most likely can get an extension of that time. Although, it is not a good idea to be “late”, you may be able to explain, to the Court, why your response is late. If you do not respond at all, then you will be facing serious consequences. The bottom line, hire an attorney as soon as possible, but, don’t rush into it.

3. Find an attorney that specializes in divorces and that you are comfortable with. You will need an attorney to represent you. However, do not rush into hiring any attorney, you should hire a divorce attorney that you are comfortable with. You should also retain an attorney who specializes in divorce cases.

4. You will need to obtain financial documents, for example: tax returns, bank statements, retirement statements, mortgage statements etc.

If you have been served with divorce papers, you need to hire an attorney that will personally handle your divorce, a lawyer that you can trust, knows the law, and represent you zealously.
David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. can help you and will answer all your questions about the divorce process. Contact David Badanes, Esq. at 631-239-1702 or email at david@dbnylaw.com.

The Badanes Law Office, P.C. has offices in Northport, Suffolk County and in Uniondale, Nassau County.

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