If your spouse informs you that he or she wants a divorce in Pennsylvania, your first instinct may be to bury your head under the sand so you don’t have to deal with it. However, the best defense is offense. If you prepare for what is coming, not only should your stress levels be lower, but you may also end up getting a better deal than if you did not do any of your own research and planning.

Your first consideration may be your current living situation and whether or not you should move out. According to Live About, you should remain in the home unless you are experiencing abuse from your spouse. This will put you in a better situation if you want to stay in the house after the divorce is final.

It is a smart idea to get legal counsel early on to advise you as to how to handle joint bank accounts and credit cards. Depending on the situation, you may want or need to protect money in an account and an attorney can tell you the best way to do so while being transparent.

Forbes discusses that before you meet with a divorce attorney you should gather various documents so you can start to organize assets and debts and analyze how you want to divide them. Examples of documents and other information to bring with you to an appointment include:

  • Bank statements
  • Credit card bills and statements
  • List of property and assets
  • Investment account statements
  • Insurance policies
  • Mortgage information
  • Deeds to real estate
  • Prenuptial agreement
  • Documents pertaining to estate planning