Eschbacher & Eschbacher
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5 steps to take when you're getting ready to divorce

You've been thinking about getting a divorce, but you want to know that you have everything prepared before you talk to your spouse. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to prepare.

The following are five things you can do, in order to have a smooth divorce. You can also reach out to your attorney first to discuss options pertaining to your divorce if you're not sure where to start.

1. Get copies of your documents

The first step is to start copying financial documents. Get copies of credit reports, credit-card statements, bank statements and other financial documents. Why do this first? If you don't, it could be hard to get them later. Your spouse might be angry and change passwords or lock you out of accounts, so getting these documents ahead of time is a good idea.

2. Talk to your attorney

Once you have the documents you need for your divorce settlement, it's time to reach out to your attorney. Your attorney will talk to you about what you have and make sure you're not missing any further documents that could help your case. If you are, they'll guide you on what to print out for them. Your attorney will also help you start building your divorce case while you gather the documents you need.

3. Approach your spouse

Once you and your attorney are satisfied with the preparation you've done for divorce, you can approach your spouse with the divorce documents. You can have them delivered by certified mail or sit down and talk to them directly. How you approach the divorce depends on many factors, but it's best to be civil. If you are concerned about your spouse getting violent, ask your attorney about ways to protect yourself.

4. Negotiate

After your spouse knows you want to get a divorce, you can start negotiating your divorce settlement. Alaskan laws allow for you to use community property or equitable distribution techniques for divorce, so you should both sit down with your attorneys to decide which is best for your situation.

5. Mediate or settle

Finally, you need to settle your divorce case and all factors that play a role in it, from child custody to your property division settlement. If you can't agree on a few points of contention, it might be a good idea to go to mediation. If you both agree, you can settle with your attorneys drawing up a settlement agreement. If neither of you can settle and mediation or arbitration aren't an option, then you'll go on to a divorce trial.

Your attorney will guide you through the process of divorce. It can be a long process, but with help, it can be simple and easy to understand what you need to do.

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