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Disclaimer: This article should not be treated as legal advice. It’s recommended that readers consult legal counsel and contact a lawyer should they have any concerns regarding divorce.
We tend to think of marriage as a “happily ever after” event, but this isn’t always the case in the lives we live today. Priorities change, and circumstances happen that make marriage something to be developed and not a guarantee. If things don’t work out between you and your partner, divorce is always an option to consider. However, aside from preparing for the potential strain divorce can bring as it’s being processed, it’s also wise to be aware of what to know legally when you’re ready to divorce. This is because there are various factors in play that can affect the outcome of the divorce, and this can affect you and your partner’s lives after marriage.
Understanding what to know legally when you’re ready to divorce can give you and your partner a heads-up on what to expect while undergoing the process of divorce. This could help you anticipate potential costs and eventualities that may happen, especially if you have assets and children to consider.
FindLaw says it might be advised to get a divorce attorney in order to save time and resources because they are the professionals trained to understand the kind of legal and financial documents that should be obtained and filed throughout this process. This allows you and your attorney to work together in order to understand what to know legally when you’re ready to divorce. A divorce attorney can help give some form of financial and legal relief, which is important as there are a lot of legal factors to consider when you’re ready to divorce your partner.
What About the Children?
The most important issue to tackle legally when it comes to divorce is if you and your partner have children. After all, custody is tricky as it encompasses a lot of factors that have to be discussed. Both parents have immeasurable love for their children, and a divorce can make expressing this love much harder for both parties to do. However, settling properly on legal terms for issues on children during divorce is not impossible.
- Decide on how child custody and child support will work. Who has legal and physical custody of the children, and how does visitation from a non-custodial parent or visitation with stepchildren work? What are your policies for the religious upbringing of your children and if grandparents decide to visit?
- Decide on how divorce will affect your children’s financial needs as well. Who gets to be in charge of dental and health insurance for children and other uninsured health costs? Who will support the children throughout their college education, and are they also part of beneficiaries of life insurance policies? Will they be considered as dependents of a divorced party for the purpose of income tax?
- Coming up with a decision for these situations can become a challenge but it should not be. You can always consult the help of attorneys who have years of experience in dealing with people who has financial struggles after going through divorce. They can help you come up with wiser decisions without compromising your financial health and your child’s needs.
What About Property?
Another tricky issue to settle when it comes to divorce is property and assets belonging to the couple. This is easier with a premarital agreement as these things can be decided by the terms of that agreement early on. However, if you don’t have a prenup with a partner you have to divorce, there are also some things for you to consider, especially if you and your partner have gained a considerable amount of assets during your marriage.
- Decide on how to deal with your various properties and assets, which includes equity in the home, business assets, personal property, and even hidden assets.
- Decide on how your individual careers would now work as professional degrees and professional practices will now be in play. Discuss with your lawyers how divorce can affect your professions during and after the marriage.
- Decide on matters relating to personal finances such as your home furnishings, recreational and motor vehicles. Important financial factors also include claims to your separate retirement accounts, savings, any bonds and stocks, and even your debt. This is because debt can be carried over by a divorced spouse if not handled properly.
What About Support?
Another issue to discuss throughout the course of the divorce talks, especially in a legal sense, is spousal support. This is because a divorce doesn’t mean abandoning your former partner entirely, but simply understanding that a marriage won’t work and you need to be separated.
Discuss who is entitled for spousal support and how much this will be, for how long?
When you and your partner decide to divorce, it’s not necessarily a sign of weakness or a “failure” in terms of marriage. Sometimes, circumstances happen that make separation the best option for you and your partner to take, but this also means this decision has to be carefully thought out. Having a good idea on what to know legally when you’re ready to divorce can be a good way for you and your soon to be ex-spouse to understand what can transpire during the divorce process.
However, please do understand that the tips above aren’t a guarantee that these are the only things you need to learn about divorce. It’s still best to consult a legal professional with knowledge on matters of marriage in order to fully understand the implications of applying for divorce, especially if you have specific questions you have to ask about your marriage and the things that can happen after the divorce process.
Claudia Marshall is equipped with more than 20 years of experience as a law writer where she writes informative pieces on law topics for the common reader. Claudia spends time with her husband and children when she has free time.