You do not need to be told that divorce is a major life decision. If you are thinking that you are finally ready to file, your gut is probably right. However, it never hurts to apply more forethought to the process as well as what you can expect during and after your divorce.
Before you file your divorce paperwork, consider these 7 factors:
- First or final option: Most people who regret getting a divorce are those who file while they are angry, or who jump to it at the first sign of marriage duress. Sit down and think to yourself about all the reasons why you are certain you want to divorce. Even if you don’t need any more reassurance that you are making the right decision, this can help you remember what will be your priorities during the divorce.
- Current finances: Make yourself familiar with your marital finances before you file. What is in checking accounts? How about your credit card statements? You need to know all about liabilities, obligations, debts, and so on that could end up yours after the divorce. Don’t forget to look into cost of divorcing so you aren’t blindsided by that, too.
- Future expenses: Try to get a reasonable grasp on what you can expect to need financially in the future. Start budgeting right now to point yourself in the right direction. Consider things like living expenses, the price to finish any degrees you are working on, car payments, etc. All of it should be known, especially if you are going to seek alimony payments.
- Child custody: If you share children with your spouse, you definitely need to go over your proposed child custody plan one more time, for the kids’ sakes. Realistically approach the situation when deciding who would be better suited to be the primary custodian. Or, would a true 50-50 split of parenting time be the best option? Only decide with your child’s best interests in focus because this is exactly what the court will do when making its ruling.
- Family home: Along the same lines of approaching child custody realistically, reconsider what will be best and easiest for you and your spouse regarding the family home. Do you want to fight for it, or sell it and split whatever profit there might be? Either way you choose, you should not volunteer to leave the family home after filing for divorce. This can be seen as the court as your willingness to give it up, which hurts your chances of winning it during property division.
- Career: Time to think about your job and how your divorce factors in. Is your current career going to be enough to sustain you after your divorce finalizes? If not, you may want to consider starting university for a higher degree. This initiative to better your situation is looked upon favorably by judges assigning alimony.
- Legal separation: Lastly, one more time, is divorce the answer to your marriage troubles? Or could legal separation work just as well? Legal separation gets you essentially the benefits of divorce without losing many of the benefits of marriage, such as helpful tax breaks. Furthermore, if you and your spouse decide you miss each other and want to try to work things out, it is much easier – and cheaper – to undo a legal separation than it is a divorce.
Point yourself in the right direction and make all the necessary considerations before filing for divorce by consulting with Stolar Law Group and our Beverly Hills divorce attorneys. We have decades of legal experience, a Board Certified Family Law Specialist on our team, and always tailor legal strategies and counseling for each client – nothing is given a cookie-cutter approach! Get to know more about your options and our services by contacting our firm at your next opportunity.