The divorce rate has been steadily declining in the United States for the past thirty years. Now is projection is simply 39%, with the first marriage still fairing better than the second marriage. But while it may seem that married couples are living together more often, divorce is still a reality for many.
Along with the unhappiness of ending a relationship comes the social complications of breaking up your family. Not knowing what to expect from a divorce is a heavy burden. Preparing for the truth of divorce before serving the papers is a crucial step for your own mental health and safety.
Your Finances During Divorce
If you share a joint bank account, consider it get your own before starting the divorce. Your assets will be apportioned and apportioned by the court, but both of you’ll have access to the account until it arrives before a mediator or judge.
To protect the money you have earned or is rightfully yours, transfer it or start saving it in your own account before splitting. If things aren’t pleasant between you and your partner, you’ll have a security net.
Remember to keep good records as this money must be reviewed together with all of your assets. However, having instant and exclusive access to cash can be critical to your safety and sanity.
Consider whether other accounts also need to be segregated, such as retirement accounts. If both spouses can withdraw from this account, it may be essential to gain exclusive access to your share. Do this before your partner can make an unfair withdrawal.
Moving and/or Home Care
During separation, you face a choice of three life situations: living together in the marital home, leaving the marital home, or living in the marital home alone.
While living in a house together during a divorce can be difficult, it is also a way to ensure things are divided fairly. You’ll save cash for the months leading up to your official share. It also gives the children time to adjust to the changes in your relationship without either parent unexpectedly leaving.
Moving is occasionally considered a bad legal decision if you are hoping to own a home after a divorce. Even if your property is owned by the two of you, some legal experts recommend staying home if it is safe. At least make a property list at home before leaving.
If you stay home alone, it may be a impolite awareness of how much home-keeping as a single person or parent can be. If so, think twice about the implications of keeping your own home after a divorce.
If any safety concerns arise, consult a professional about what actions you can take. This may include changing locks and installing security cameras. However, be sure you do not infringe on any of the rights your spouse has as a home owner.
Managing Child Care During Divorce
It’s hard to talk to kids about divorce, in addition to finding a safe haven for them during the trial. Whether your divorce was amicable or not, you are likely facing a major change in parenting.
If you are still co-parenting, seeing your potential partner regularly can be painful. You need to keep the lines of communication open to co-parent your kids. But there are steps you can take to reduce interaction as you transition from a one-household to a two-family household.
The calendar app is your best friend. Uploading orthodontist appointments, sports games, and parent-teacher meetings ensures that everybody has access to information with regard to the children’ schedules.
This way, nobody can be accused of falling behind. If such allegations are made, there’s documentation to prove that notice was given.
In addition, you can clarify your child’s exchange schedule months in advance. By highlighting Mom’s weekend and Dad’s weekend, there will be no confusion when you reach the 4th of July about who asked them to the fireworks.
Parenting an Only Child
You may be getting a divorce that leaves you a single parent against your will or out of security needs. You may have trouble finding a trusted person to help watch the children after school or when you are working late.
There are resources in your community that you can reach out to. This includes family organizations, religious organizations, and low-cost aftercare programs at schools that can help you during this difficult time.
Next, document all incidents of contact with your child’s other parent. This should include frequency, saved visit dates and broken dates, where they took the child and who they were with, and whether you have any concerns about the outing.
If there’s any reason you believe your partner is harmful to your child, such as substance abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, or something else, you need to get representation as soon as possible.
Hiding or withholding your kids from your ex-spouse can backfire on you if the divorce goes to court. However, you can get a short-term order to temporarily protect your child.
Looking for a Divorce Lawyer
If you employ a divorce lawyer, start by getting referrals from people you know. They can offer you an honest review of how they feel their case was handled and tell you about other attorneys they got rid of and why.
Other resources include referrals from attorneys you use elsewhere. This includes attorneys who assist with real estate purchases or execution of wills. Even if they do not practice divorce law, they absolutely have contacts they’d be happy to refer to you. A personal connection will make the process easier.
Divorce attorneys will often offer you a free consultation to see if you want to work with them. They can offer you an overview of your options. Also, they can explain what the process will be like if you undergo mediation or trial.
Take advantage of this free consultation and choose someone you are comfy with. You should discuss intimate topics from your personal life with this person, so this person must be someone you trust professionally.
Having an lawyer is important if you need help with other procedures. They can advise you to file a restraining order against your partner. They can even advise you on pre-divorce custody issues and how to make sure you comply with your spouse’s rights as parents.
For couples hoping to resolve their divorce quickly and amicably, mediation is the most suitable option. A mediator works for the court to act as an neutral counsel. They assist as the couple goes through the process of dividing assets and setting up a custody schedule.
You can still have a lawyer even if you use a mediator. Having a counselor who is biased towards your interests is very helpful during a divorce. In this way, you are properly informed about all of your options and rights.
Often mediation begins with the mediator talking to both partners individually. Mediators review their preferences with respect to property and joint custody. The mediator will draw up an initial plan. Then everybody meets together to see what went according to plan and what did not.
Mediation can save lots of time, money, and heartache. If the divorce is amicable and the assets are modest, mediation should move forward quickly.
When things get more complicated, such as mediation that does not work, going to divorce court is inevitable. Preparing for divorce court means working with attorneys to build your own case. You will want to indicate why you need the support requested and the reasons behind the custody request.
You may additionally need to spend time building the case against your partner. Even although you may not have any ill will towards them, be logical at this point. If your marriage ended as a result of security issues such as substance abuse or violence, it is important to prove to the court that they should not have had custody and that they owe you support.
In court, the judge reviews all the documentation you can provide in addition to testimony. Judges divide property fairly and make custody decisions in the best interests of your kids.
What to Expect from a Divorce
Knowing what to expect from a divorce can set you up for filing to final dissolution of the marriage. No one can tell you precisely what a divorce will be like, but you can make a plan for your finances, housing, and parenting before you begin the process.
Prioritize your safety and sanity during your separation and divorce. Even if you want the best financial results, do not be afraid to leave your property if it means running away from a dangerous situation. Protect yourself physically, legally and emotionally.
Check out our more articles on divorce to prepare yourself.