Divorce is a daunting concept, and one that many couples face with trepidation. After all, husbands and wives make their marriage vows with the very best of intentions. However, if you find yourself facing the prospect of legally dissolving your marriage, there are certain things you can do to prepare for a divorce and make the process easier.
Here are some tips on how to prepare for a divorce.
Why Do You Want Your Marriage Terminated?
There are many different grounds for divorce, many of which depend on the state you live in. Some of these include:
- Unreasonable behavior
You may also apply for divorce with your spouse’s permission if you have lived apart for more than two years, but you do not need to ask them if you have been separated for more than five.
There is also no-fault divorce, whereby neither party is required to shoulder the blame and it can be accepted that the marriage has simply broken down. Furthermore, under these rules, there is no need one party to ask the other’s permission.
Are there Children Involved?
If you have children together, you and your spouse must evenly share support – financial and otherwise – after your divorce is finalized. Depending on factors such as your income and the nature of your place of residence, you need to come to an agreement regarding how much money each of you will put towards bringing up your dependents and where they will live.
Some couples decide to arrange this between themselves, but others may choose to ask the government for help in arranging the best child maintenance plan. These agreements will not be legally binding unless you specifically request that the court formalizes them.
You may also request help from a mediator if you cannot agree on where your child will live or other childcare-related matters. If mediation fails, these issues may be put to a court. Whatever the eventual decision, your solicitor can help to make it legally binding.
What are You Doing With Your Money and Property?
One of the most contentious matters that crops up during divorce proceedings is that of ownership. Whether this refers to money, property, or pets, arguments over this issue may cause the process to drag on and become particularly nasty.
If possible, it’s beneficial to try and discuss this with your spouse before proceedings begin. If this is not an option, you can contact a mediator to help you. Should this fail, you may need to apply to a court for assistance. Otherwise, your solicitor will be able to give you advice. They will also be able to help you make any decision legally binding.
How Are Your Finances?
It’s important to consider the costs involved in filing for divorce before you commit to the process.
In the worst case scenario, these costs can stretch into the tens of thousands – so it’s a good idea to speak with a legal advisor to work out how much of a budget you’re likely to need for your particular case before you start proceedings in earnest.
Everything from your initial divorce petition to the creation of financial orders will have a price tag attached – plus, it’s definitely beneficial to engage the services of a family lawyer or solicitor.
Should you be unable to agree on certain matters, your case may need to be taken to court. This will add to your expenses.
Most importantly of all, you need to consider your own mental health and wellbeing as well as that of your family and your soon to be ex-partner throughout the process. Ensure that the correct support networks are in place and don’t be afraid to speak to loved ones or arrange counselling in order to come to terms with your feelings and move forward positively.
While the divorce process can be painful and emotionally draining, ensuring that you are organized and well-prepared for every step is one of the best ways to protect yourself against the stress. Take care of yourself and spend time with loved ones throughout, and this difficult period will pass.
This article was provided by one of DPP Law’s family solicitors. DPP Law are Liverpool-based solicitors with over 30 years of experience within family and criminal law. www.dpp-law.com
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