You may not think twice about the date you file for divorce. As soon as you decide that you want to end your marriage, you’ll put in that paperwork and serve your spouse. It’s all about moving quickly.

For many people, though, this is something that they think about for a long time. They really consider the dates and they think about how they can best set things up for their future. If you can, you want to pick a date that benefits you when it comes to asset division.

After all, the date you file can become a cut-off in some senses. Assets gained after the filing, but before the final divorce ruling, could be considered separate assets. This can matter when considering retirement planning, investments and 401K contributions, just to name a few examples. Consider all assets you may gain and when you should file.

For instance, perhaps your company is thinking about giving you a significant raise and a promotion. If you put off filing until after the raise, your spouse can still claim a portion of that income as a marital asset. If you file for divorce prior to the raise, even if it takes the next year to get everything in order with your divorce, you may be able to claim that your spouse has no right to that income.

This is just one example, but it helps to show why you need to think about when you file for divorce and how it impacts your future. Then make sure you understand exactly what legal steps you need to take moving forward.