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My Spouse Just Asked for a Divorce – What Do I Do Now?

If your spouse has hit you with the unexpected bombshell of asking you for a divorce, you’re no doubt experiencing a good deal of emotional upheaval – along with considerable anxiety. The prospect of a divorce can be terrifying, and the uncertainty of how your divorce will play out can leave you with no idea about how best to proceed. The most important step you can take on the path forward is consulting with an experienced Virginia divorce attorney as early in the process as possible. 

Collecting Documentation

A primary factor of your Virginia divorce is the division of your marital property. All those assets that you and your spouse accumulated together as a married couple are deemed marital property by the court, and they must be fairly distributed between you in the event of divorce. While separate property retains its separate nature if it’s kept separate throughout the years of marriage, this can be a difficult task to accomplish. 

The only way to establish your marital property (and any separate property) is to gather the documentation that supports your claims, and you should begin the collection process as soon as possible after your spouse notifies you about his or her intention to divorce. As the divorce process moves forward, collecting this critical documentation can become more challenging. 

What You’re Looking For

The kind of documentation that you should be on the lookout for include:

  • Your mortgage
  • Statements from every bank account held by either of you (or both of you)
  • Your household bills (your marital assets will be offset by your marital debt and financial obligations)
  • You and your divorcing spouse’s retirement accounts
  • You and your divorcing spouse’s pay information
  • Your financial portfolio, including all stocks, bonds, and investments
  • Documentation related to any additional property holdings

It’s important to note that your overall finances, which will be represented by the documentation you gather, can also affect child support and the issue of alimony in your divorce – making the matter central to your case’s resolution.  

Complicating Factors 

Obtaining the division of marital assets to which you are entitled is critical to your financial future, and while the documentation process can be challenging enough, to begin with, you can expect the matter to be that much more so if any of the following complications apply:

  • Yours is a high asset divorce.
  • Your finances are complicated by a factor such as business ownership.
  • Your divorcing spouse is more involved with your family’s financials than you are.
  • Your divorcing spouse endeavors to hide, spend down, give away, or otherwise artificially decrease your marital assets.

Turn to an Experienced Virginia Divorce Attorney for the Legal Counsel You Need

The distinguished Virginia divorce attorneys at Mahoney & Richmond, PLLC, understand how difficult it is to have a divorce sprung upon you, and we will take the time to help ensure that you understand what you’re up against and that you are well prepared to protect your financial rights throughout the divorce process. To learn more about what we can do to help you, please don’t wait to contact us today.