Marriage can be scary. There are a lot of unknowns, as people tend to change over time. The same could be said for divorce. From what you have observed about divorce over the course of your life, you may consider it to be a nerve-wracking process – and it can be, for many people.
Let’s face it – divorce can be a minefield, even in the best of situations. The process can be a rocky road fraught with emotional breakdowns, tough conversations, negotiations, and maybe even court battles.
However, your behavior during your divorce can make or break your situation. You will have to make a lot of decisions during this process, and whatever you choose to do will affect you, your spouse, your children, other family members, and possibly even your social circle, workplace, and neighborhood. Divorce is powerful. The good news is that you can choose to make the divorce process a whole lot easier. Here are some tips that can help.
Know What You Want
This may seem simple enough, but it is really not. Many people do not apply this principle. They aim to get as much as they can out of the divorce because they think that is fair. Instead of thinking about quantity, think quality. What is it that you actually want? The family home? The car? The cash? What is important to you?
You can make this easier for you by making a list. Write down things you need and things you want. Be honest with yourself, as this list will serve as a visual when you are negotiating with your spouse. You should also have an idea of what your spouse really wants and why. This puts you in a better position to decide what to ask for and what to fight for, as well as what things you can live without.
Know the Law
Once you file for divorce, it is business. It is no longer rings and flowers and hearts. Your marriage was a legal contract and now you are looking to terminate that contract by divorcing. Your divorce is essentially a court case against your spouse – someone you love (and maybe still do). So things are serious at this point.
A divorce is a major legal battle that splits up everything between you and your spouse. While your lawyer will be helping you through the process, you still need to understand the laws involved. Divorce law varies from state to state, so make sure you are knowledgeable about what to expect. Sometimes court outcomes vary from one jurisdiction to another. While divorce is an emotional process, you need to put your emotions aside and fight for your legal rights.
Get Your Finances in Order
Divorce is an expensive endeavor. The average cost is around $15,000 when you include lawyer and court fees. While you can divorce for less, the point is that you will still need to adjust your finances once your marriage ends.
There are several things you can do to get your finances in order. First, start organizing your financial records, such as tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs, credit card statements, and other documentation showing assets and debts. Try to get as much information as possible. Your lawyer can help as well.
Next, check your credit score. You can get one free credit report every year through AnnualCreditReport.com or you can use a free site like Credit Karma. This will help you understand what debts you have and how creditworthy you are in the event that you plan to buy a home or vehicle or apply for a personal loan in the future.
Of course, make sure you have a bank account in your name. Get a credit card for emergencies as well. Start creating a budget as well. After your divorce, you are one your own in terms of paying the bills, so you will need to make sure you have the income to pay for all your expenses. You may need to make some adjustments as you transition to single life.
Get the Right Team in Place
You need to have the right support on your side. This starts with legal support. You will need an attorney who specializes in family law. You will also need to decide which process you will use to get divorced: mediation, collaborative law, and traditional litigation. Each has its pros and cons.
You also need to find experts to help guide you through the financial, tax, and emotional aspects of divorce. An accountant or financial planner can help you manage your finances and plan for the future. You can also understand the tax implications of splitting certain assets.
You can deal with the emotional aspects of divorce with support from you friends and family. Your loved ones should be there when you need to vent or need a shoulder to cry on. It may also be helpful to get assistance from a mental health professional. A therapist or counselor can help you understand your emotions and assist you in making any necessary changes so you can move on with ease.
Seek Legal Help
Divorce is painful – there is no doubt about it. But when “I do” turns into “I don’t,” there are things you can do to make the process easier.
Count on Broward County divorce attorney Scott J. Stadler to guide you through your divorce with ease. We will work hard to get you the outcome you desire. Schedule a consultation with our office today by filling out the online form or calling (954) 346-6464.