For Virginia spouses who are getting ready to file for divorce, there is no such thing as being over prepared. Those who put in the time and effort to get ready for their divorce can reap the rewards of a faster, easier and more advantageous end to their marriage. The following tips are offered in the hopes of spurring more spouses into taking action prior to filing for divorce.

The best place to begin is by assembling copies of all essential documents. In the first few weeks of a divorce, each attorney will ask for proof of all income, assets and debt held within the marriage. This requires quite a bit of organization and effort, and is a task best accomplished before the divorce is filed and the accompanying rush of activity begins.

Gathering these documents is not only a great way to get a jump start on one’s divorce, it is also an important preventative measure. There are plenty of cases in which one spouse attempts to slow the divorce process by intentionally delaying delivery of these documents, or becomes downright uncooperative in providing financial details. In the worst cases, a spouse attempts to hide assets in order to shield them from the property division process.

Having the proper paperwork in place before a divorce is filed can help avoid both of these complications. In addition, it makes it easier for the divorce attorneys to structure the property division negotiations. This can make a Virginia divorce faster and easier. It can also improve the odds of achieving a fair and favorable settlement, which should be among every spouse’s top priorities.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, “How to Plan for a Divorce“, Veronica Dagher