STEP ONE: SET A TIME FRAME
When it comes to divorce, there is never a right or perfect time. However, as is often said, timing is everything. Time is usually not on your side when you are getting divorce so it is best to plan wisely. Some of the factors to consider:
Employment: Have you recently been let go or laid off from work? Is your spouse working? Are you planning to retire? Have there been any big changes in income in the last few years? Is there a bonus that is about to be paid or has recently been paid? Employment and income changes and status are huge issues of contention and dispute in divorce. It may work for you or against you to file for divorce at a particular time in your career.
Assets: Are you in the middle of planning a sale of your home, business, or other assets? If so, you need to do this before the divorce action is started. Once a divorce action is started there is an automatic restraining order that is put into place against both you and your spouse which prohibits any transfer of an asset, whether it is individually or jointly held unless the transfer is in the ordinary course of business, used to pay household expenses or for payment of legal fees.
Debt: How much debt is out there? How many sources of credit does your spouse have? How much of this credit is in your name as well? Debt should be consolidated, minimized and contained prior to the commencement of the action for divorce.