If you find that you are contemplating divorce and not sure where to begin, there are certain things that you need to consider. First, just about everything accumulated during a marriage, from the date of your marriage to the date of your separation is marital. You will want to make sure that you know what your assets and debts are. The Court cannot give you more than the total net assets that you have, with the exception that you may get alimony if you are the dependent spouse. Divorce is not a case where the Court creates assets. You are only going to get a percentage of what you and your spouse already own. There is no compensation awarded to you because you are entitled, or you were abused, or anything of that nature.

If you are the spouse who earns more money, you may have to share part of your ongoing income with your spouse who you are divorcing for a period of time. Alimony is based off of many factors but the difference between your incomes and the length of time you were married are the biggest factors.

Since the Court needs to decide what percentage to give you of what you have and if you are getting or paying alimony, you need to have this information available to the Court. You should gather as much information as you can of what is in your name. If you do not have information on what your spouse has in their own name, once you file, your lawyer will be able to get this information for you through various channels.

You should go through a checklist of your assets and debts and try to determine what the value of each was at the time you separated. You can find a helpful checklist here: checklist

Once you have your checklist you will want to decide what items are most important for you to keep. Do you want to keep the house? If so, how much might you owe your spouse? Are there other assets you can give your spouse or will you need to take out a loan? Can you refinance? If you want to move, how much can you afford? How long will it take to get support? These any many other questions are things that your lawyer can assist you with.