Many people report that Valentine's Day is when they decided that they needed to get a divorce. If you are one of those people who decided to get a divorce after Valentine's Day, then there is a lot that you need to do, starting with contacting a family law attorney. However, that should not be the only attorney that you call when getting divorced.
Marriage may be about love, but divorce is about money and taxes. A person contemplating divorce should make his/her first call to a divorce/family law attorney and his/her second call to an estate planning attorney. In most divorce situations, the assistance of an experienced team, including a divorce/family law attorney and an estate planning attorney, are absolutely essential to the successful completion of the divorce process.
Most people create their estate plans with the assumption that they are going to stay married to their current spouses forever. Spouses are often given authority in powers of attorney documents and named as beneficiaries of life insurance policies and retirement accounts. When you get divorced, all of your estate planning needs to be changed as quickly as possible because you do not know when something might happen to you. For example, if you are in a car accident a couple of months after your divorce, you might not want your ex-spouse making your medical decisions, especially if the divorce was bitter.
A divorce/family law attorney can guide you in going your separate ways, but an estate planning attorney can advise you on creating an estate plan that fits your new situation.
Reference: Nasdaq (Feb. 10, 2017) "What to Do If You're Divorcing Your Valentine."