Ending your marriage can be surprisingly complicated. In additional to the legal specifics, there are also several personal and parental factors that it helps to get ahead of. Here are 7 things to know before getting divorced.
Be Sure You Want to Get Divorced
This may seem like a no-brainer, but deciding that you want a divorce today, then having second thoughts a week down the road, is pretty common. Before you start down the path of dissolving your marriage, make doubly sure this is the right path for you.
Consider Your Legal Options
If you’re thinking about getting divorced, there are several things to consider – most importantly hiring legal representation.
Find a Divorce Attorney
Even if you and your spouse agree to an uncontested divorce, you should still hire a divorce attorney to represent you. Don’t make the mistake of choosing a “cheap divorce” or “do-it-yourself divorce” service. You’ll definitely want a qualified legal professional representing your best interests in your divorce.
Know the Finances, Assets & Debt
When getting a divorce, an agreement must be made – either on your own (uncontested) or by a judge (contested) – in regard to asset distribution, child custody, child support, spousal support, and debt allocation. You and your spouse will need to know the following information:
- Spouse’s annual income
- Family’s financial holdings
- Assets to divide
- Family debt
Make copies of all your financial records, holding your spouse accountable for presenting accurate information.
It’s Emotionally Grueling
No matter how you approach divorce, it will not be easy on you. You’re likely to feel a sense of loss, anxiety, fear, and/or sadness. Even if you and your spouse split amicably, you’ll need to take time to let go of this part of your life.
There’s a good chance you’ll lose friends, as your mutual friends with your ex may decide to take sides. This is unavoidable, usually, but it helps if you’re not blindsided by it.
The Divorce Will Affect Your Children
No matter how well you and your spouse handle the divorce, and how much you want to spare your children the pain that you’re going through, the effect that this will have on them is unavoidable. The sooner you come to terms with this reality, the better. Understanding what your kids will be going through during (and after) the divorce will help you better support them.
You’ll Likely Still Need to See Your Ex
If you and your ex have kids, you’re probably going to still have to deal with him or her. Unless they’ve lost all custody and visitation because of domestic violence or substance abuse, it’s usually best for the children to continue to have both parents be an active part of their lives. Put your differences aside, and try to get along for the sake of your kids.
You’ll be Starting a New Life
Going through a divorce means that you’re leaving one part of your life behind and starting another. It’s important to think through as much of the technical details as you can before the divorce is finalized, such as:
- Where are you going to live? Are you staying in the marital home, or are you moving out?
- Will you have enough money? Will you need to find another job? An extra job? Do you want to receive spousal support? Or will you have to pay spousal support to your ex?
- How’s your credit score? If all of your marital purchases have been on your spouse’s credit, you’ll likely need to start building up yours. Start planning financially. Start saving money now.
AB Law can help you navigate through even the most complex divorces, while always keeping your best interests at heart. Contact us today for a free consultation.