Are you ready for divorce? Things might not seem to be working fine between you and your spouse and you feel you both need to part ways. There are a lot of reasons that might end up making you decide to separate and file for divorce but you cannot always be ready for a divorce without being acknowledged with few facts. It is not difficult to prepare for a divorce but you need to know a few things before you find yourself making a wrong or inappropriate decision. It is not only about being prepared emotionally but also financially and lawfully prepared. Whether your spouse files for a divorce or you do, here are few things you need to know:
- You need to know if you actually want the divorce or not.
Most of us rush to decisions before trying to make out if it is good for us or not. Many people are caught in the divorce dilemma simply because they think there is no better way out. Some couples try counseling, some couples try a brief period of separation and some try and get away together. Unless you are in an abusive or toxic relationship, divorce should always be the last option after you have tried everything else.
- You can live in the same house until legally told to leave.
Many leave their house long before the court orders it and they are left homeless or dependent on others. It is ideal to live in the house your spouse owns and wait for the court orders. This will save you from further financial problems and you won’t be dependent on others. In the meanwhile, you can look for a suitable solution to the problem.
- While you are still living in the marital home, it is best to try and obtain as much of the financial documentation as possible. Items such as old tax returns, bank accounts and statements, credit card information and any information regarding retirement assets are always helpful and much harder to get (particularly your spouse’s information) once you leave the house.
- Divorce can prove to be a financial stress. You will be eventually living in two different households. You income usually stays the same, or about the same, but your expenses double. In addition to your household expenses, attorneys cost money. Preparing even a simple case requires a significant amount of time be spent by your attorney and not hiring an attorney can cost even more.
- You need to hire a good lawyer.
You need to hire a lawyer who answers you honestly and helps you understand all the complications and procedures in detail. The attorney you hire must be upfront about the factors that weigh in your favor, as well as the factors or actions you have taken that are weighed against you in a divorce. You must be compatible with the attorney. You do not have to always get along or agree 100% of the time, but it is a working relationship. You and your attorney may be working together for up to a year or more, so make sure it is someone who is not only capable, but someone you can work with as well.
- Divorce is emotionally stressful.
If you found your soul mate, or at least thought you did, when you got married and are now facing divorce, it can be emotionally draining. People say and do very hurtful things to each other during the divorce process. On top of all that, it can be very lonely. Your spouse, at least at some point, was the person you wanted to live your whole life with, and now they are no longer around.
- You need to keep your children’s best interests ahead of you.
If you have children, divorce can be particularly hard on them. Having to share parents and living with one parent and then the other parent many time may be more confusing for a child, than living in a dysfunctional home. As parents your focus should always be on what is in your child’s best interest and their needs should always come before your own. Your lawyer most likely does not know your child(ren) and would not know what is necessarily in the best interest of your children so you have to make sure it is your priority even if you don’t want to live with your spouse. Never let it be said that you hate your spouse more than you love your child(ren).
Divorce isn’t cheap just like other legal procedures and you have to be financially stable enough to go through the trials. It is more advisable to settle things mutually that if you want to part ways then you can do that without getting into time and money consuming processes.
We understand that you didn’t decide to go for the divorce haphazardly as things were so out of control that you decided to split but still it is good to sit down and talk for a while before taking the final step. This might not avoid the divorce but you can avoid future tussles on things like custody of children and how to divide assets etc.