When you got married, you never expected to be facing a divorce. However, now that divorce has become inevitable, it is important that you take certain steps to ensure you and your spouse cut the knot of matrimony as cleanly as possible. Otherwise, you could be staring at a prolonged divorce that could impact you very severely in terms of finances, child custody, and other areas. To ensure you make a fresh start following your divorce, keep these tips in mind.
If you really want to make sure all details are clearly spelled out as to what will happen to your assets after a divorce, draw up a prenuptial agreement with your attorney and then ask your spouse to sign it before you get married. Though few couples actually do this, those who do find their divorces go much more smoothly.
If you don’t have a prenuptial agreement, you’ll likely have to split everything 50/50 in the divorce.
Don’t Rush Into A Decision
When you first find out your spouse wants a divorce, it can be tempting to immediately start filing paperwork and try to speed up the process. However, this is not always in your best interest. Instead, take some time to really think about what you want and whether divorce is the right decision for you.
You should also be prepared for the fact that your spouse may want a divorce even if you don’t. In this case, it’s important to have an attorney on hand to help protect your interests.
Hire an Experienced Attorney
Once you know you are on the path to divorce, it will serve you well to consult with and hire an experienced divorce lawyer to handle your case. By working with an attorney who specializes in divorces, you can be sure your attorney will give you sound advice, fight hard for your rights, and get your divorce finalized as fast as possible.
You’ll also want to make sure you choose an attorney you feel comfortable with. After all, you’ll be discussing some very personal and sensitive information with your lawyer. So, be sure to interview several before making your final decision.
Consider Using Mediation
If you let your divorce case play out in court, you are essentially giving up most of your decision-making authority on key matters, especially regarding your financial assets and child custody arrangements. Instead of letting a judge tell you what you may or may not be able to do following your divorce, consider using mediation services.
If you pursue this path, you and your spouse can sit down together, discuss possible arrangements, and reach agreements much faster than if you waited for court hearings. Also, you can still have your attorney present during these sessions, and the sessions will not be a matter of public record, meaning you can keep many details of your divorce private.
Think of Your Children
If you have children, it’s important that you think of their best interests first and foremost. After all, they are the ones who will be most impacted by your divorce. With that in mind, try to work with your spouse to come up with a parenting plan that will work well for your children.
Try not to use your children as pawns in your divorce, and avoid badmouthing your spouse in front of them. You should also try to keep major changes to their daily routine to a minimum. All of these things can help make the divorce process less stressful for your children.
Keep Finances in Mind
When you are going through a divorce, it’s important to keep your finances top of mind. This includes not only dividing up your assets but also making sure you are prepared for the financial impact a divorce can have.
For example, if you have always been a stay-at-home parent, you may need to find a job after your divorce. This could require going back to school or taking on additional work hours. You’ll also want to make sure you have a budget in place and know what expenses you will be responsible for following your divorce.
Communicate Openly and Honestly
One of the best things you can do to make your divorce go as smoothly as possible is to keep the lines of communication open with your spouse. This means being willing to compromise, being honest about what you want, and being respectful of your spouse’s wishes.
If you can’t seem to communicate effectively with your spouse, consider using a mediator to help facilitate open and honest conversations.
Keep Your Emotions Under Control
Finally, if you can keep your emotions under control while your divorce plays out, you will come away with a much better situation in the end. Even if your spouse is making accusations against you and seems determined to make the divorce as difficult as possible, keep your emotions in check and let your attorney do the heavy lifting since they have handled similar cases and know how to get great results for their clients.
By keeping these tips in mind during your divorce, you can come away with your finances and other areas of your life intact, letting you look forward to a bright future. Divorce is never easy, but following these tips can help make the process go as smoothly as possible. Just remember to take your time, be patient, and stay positive. With a little effort, you can get through this tough time and thrive.