Considering a divorce? Here’s a few things you should keep in mind as you make your decision.
1. What is the motivation for your divorce?
If you are considering divorce it is important that you are doing it for the right reasons. If this is the product of an emotional reaction, divorce may not be your answer. Take time to cool off and reevaluate the relationship between you and your partner to see if this is truly the best course of action. Divorce should also not be used as a means of manipulation. If you are hoping that this will make your partner change their “ways” you may consider marriage counseling first.
2. Your Family
If you have children with your spouse, this subject becomes one of the most important. Who will take the children after the divorce? Are you seeking sole custody or do you plan to choose joint custody? When pursuing divorce, it is important that you do not move out of the home you share with your family. Moving out can appear in a negative light that could decrease your chances of custody. Most importantly, it is important to consider if this is the best option for your family. Will you children benefit from it or will they end up being worse off? An attorney with family law experience can help you to determine this.
3. Consult and hire an attorney
It is essential that once you are for sure getting a divorce, you consult and hire an attorney. Having expert advice during this time will help to ensure all of the assets you are entitled to. Not only that, but having professional help will ease the stress of the situation and also avoid mistakes. The legal system is extremely complicated and it is easy to make an error that could hurt your case and the success of getting your fair share. On your own, you might spell out your wishes in a confusing manner that the court will misinterpret. An attorney will ensure that your wishes are clearly presented in court.
4. Have complete knowledge of your family’s finances
When you are getting a divorce, it is important to know as much about your family finances as possible. To acquire your share of the assets, you have to know about them. Whether its houses, cars, savings and checking accounts, stocks, or pensions or retirement plans, it should all be accounted for. You will also want to know how much your spouse earns annually, especially if you are seeking child support. If you find it necessary, take out half of your savings account you share with your spouse and put it into a new account until you can settle the specifics later on in mediation. Just as important as finances, be sure to inventory all of your valuables. Anything from jewelry, paintings, or realistically anything over $500 should be accounted for and recorded.
5. Future financial needs
Following your divorce, you will need to make arrangements for a place to live as well as sorting out your new financial independence. Try to estimate your new cost of living and compare that with your own income. It is important to be prepared for the future, so start saving as soon as possible. If you don’t have your own credit card, apply for one now. You will want to build up your own credit score.
6. Evaluate the situation
Are you positive divorce is the right solution to your problems? Is it the best possible time to file? Make sure that this is a carefully thought-out decision. If the idea of divorce has been in the back of your head consistently for awhile then it may be smart to proceed with your separation. Do not seek out divorce if you are leaving your spouse. One bad relationship can easily lead to another, and a side relationship will hurt your case when dividing your assets.