4 Things You Need to Know Before Filing for Divorce

divorce filing

Nervous about filing for divorce? Everywhere you turn, there are horror stories about divorces gone wrong. But that doesn’t mean your own separation has to get messy. Here’s how you can protect yourself before signing any papers:

  1. No One “Wins” a Divorce

Getting divorced hurts both parties. Although you may get what you want out of the situation, you more than likely will have to make some compromises. Instead of focusing on winning, it’s better to mitigate potential consequences. Many times, making a “priority list” will help you focus on what is most important to you. Talk with your lawyer about any concerns you may have, including custody, asset division, and financial support.

2. There Will Be Tons of Paperwork

Walking into a divorce hearing without doing your homework is never a good idea. You’ll need to gather years of financial records, including bank records, retirement or investment records, any loans or lines of credit you may have with your partner or on your own. Having a solid paper trail will make it easier to divide up assets fairly.

3. Protecting Yourself Is a Must

No matter how amicable the divorce may seem, don’t assume your partner won’t seek revenge. It’s critical that you safeguard all your assets. Take possession of anything you don’t want to lose, such as heirlooms, important documents, vehicles, or valuables. It’s not uncommon for a distressed spouse to drain their joint bank account. Now is the time to open an account in your own name to protect your money. This doesn’t mean you hide assets, it means you protect them until you can get a court order.

4. Hire a Divorce Lawyer Right Away

You should hire a divorce attorney the moment divorce becomes imminent. Divorce laws are challenging to digest, and they vary from state to state. Besides, it isn’t easy to think clearly during a highly emotional period. A lawyer will keep your best interests in mind and help you navigate the process.

No one enters a marriage thinking it will end in divorce, but it can happen to anyone. A divorce attorney will ensure you get the best possible outcome from a difficult situation. Connect with McCutchen McLean to discuss your concerns before filing for divorce.

Can I Prepare My Own Will & Figure Out a Plan All by Myself?

Can you prepare your own will and try to figure out a plan for your estate all by yourself? The answer is, technically, yes, you can. But should you? Let’s take a look.

Saving Money

Many people assume writing their own will can save them money on lawyer fees. Something that needs consideration, however, is what it could cost in the long run. Writing a will without legal guidance can result in issues for your heirs that could end up costing them significantly to resolve. Huge legal fees could be what you leave behind for your family.

Following the Laws

It’s easy to read a few online guides and then create some forms that pass as a will. But do they follow state laws? Are they signed correctly? Are they self-proving? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, it’s critical to talk to someone who does. During estate administered after your passing, these things are critical to the will’s enforcement. This could lead to legal fees and extended probate for your family to deal with.

Conflict with Other Legal Documents

If you have a prenuptial agreement or other legal documents in place, a self-made will could conflict with them. Someone who isn’t a lawyer can’t ensure there are no other issues that could lead to a long legal battle for your heirs. Before you put your estate and final wishes at risk by drawing up your own will and creating your own plan, it’s worth talking to a legal professional. They can help create legal documents that will hold up and leave your heirs without having to worry about fighting for them in court. Contact the team at McCutchen McLean, LLC today to find out how to take the right steps.



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I recently had a tax issue with the IRS. I called McCutchen McClean law firm and they were able to fit me in quickly. They sat down with me, reviewed all the documents, listened to my concerns, and gave me wonderful advice as to how to fix the issue. They were friendly and understanding. Now, my tax issue is resolved, taking a HUGE weight off my mind. I would recommend them for any tax issue you may have! The service, hospitality, knowledge, and professionalism was outstanding!



We recently used James McCutchen and we could not be any happier! He was very kind, thorough when answering all of our questions and the best part of all we got everything completed pretty quickly. We highly recommend James. Thanks again for everything!



I have referred several clients to them. My clients are very happy with the outstanding, timely service they receive. James and Robin are extremely smart and professional, yet speak in "plain english" so everyone walks away educated regarding their tax, estate or family law issue.



Smart people that do great work.



I used Robin McLean as an attorney to secure a divorce about 20 months ago. I found her to be efficient, reasonably priced, and very well skilled. I was completely happy with her work. She did what she said. Since that time, I needed additional help with paperwork and she responded promptly and to my complete satisfaction. I highly recommend Robin as an attorney.


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