A divorce can be hard to deal with, especially if you’re not the spouse initiating it. You’re blindsided by your spouse’s wish to separate, and you hope you can work things out. However, if your spouse isn’t willing, then you do need to start to move forward with the divorce process.

As the person served with divorce papers, it’s a good idea to take them to your attorney. You need to make sure you’re signing documents only after you know exactly what they will or will not do.

In haste, some people sign away assets or agree to terms that they would not had they taken the time to think about other options. For this reason, you should always wait at least 24 hours to mull over any decision you have to make. Think it over, sleep on it and then decide what you want to do.

Why is it important to inform your attorney at the beginning of your divorce?

From day one, there are things you can be doing to protect yourself. Your attorney will help you gather information on your assets and protect your shared property.

Washington is one of few community property states, which means that if you choose to divorce, the court will split your assets fairly and equitably. To do this, you’ll have to get valuations and to identify all your assets, which can be a long process. Your attorney can help by giving you tips on what to look for and helping you identify all your assets for division.

Our site has more about community property and how you should seek an equal portion of your marital assets.