First Considerations

Aug 8, 2012 by

Are you really sure you want to get divorced? Before you start filing divorce papers you might want to stop and think about whether or not your marriage can be saved. If it cannot be salvaged maybe you should consider some counseling even if your soon-to-be ex-spouse doesn’t want to participate. A divorce should always be a last resort, and counseling could go a long way to helping you land on your feet after the event. If your divorce is truly inevitable, counseling will only confirm that fact. You are going to need some support as you go through a divorce as well as after the dust has settled. Building a support system of trusted family and friends before you begin the process can help you to better endure the difficult times ahead.

You’ll need to step back to evaluate your situation honestly, and consider your plans for the future. Try to look ahead and think about life goals, divorce is always a major milestone and the transition could have impacts on you and your family for generations to come. Don’t forget about your financial needs after the divorce and remember that you will likely lose half of your assets in the process. You will have less to work with and attempting to move forward financially after your divorce could be doubly difficult. Take an honest look at your situation regarding debts, the security of your employment and any major expenses that may require cash outlay after your divorce. The time to address these issues is obviously before you begin filing any papers.

If you own your home you will have to figure out what you want to do with it. One spouse or the other might want to stay in the home, or you might decide to sell it, and in today’s weak economy, that could be a tough job. You will also need to gather all of your financial information and get it organized. Assemble all mortgage records, tax returns, investment accounts, bank statements, checking accounts, and credit card statements in one place where you can access them easily later. The more you know about your financial position, the easier it will be to make good decisions.

 If any children are involved in your divorce, you”˜ll have to start thinking about what kind of custody arrangement will work best. At this point, it may be helpful to consider keeping a daily record or diary of how much time you actually spend with your children, and how much time your spouse spends with them before you make decisions about individual, shared or joint custody arrangements. Whenever children are involved in a divorce, you need to look at the situation realistically and base your decisions on what the best outcome for the children would be in any given circumstance. The court will always base its custody decisions on what is in the best interests of the children and you should do likewise.

It is always a better situation if both parents can come to agreement on child custody issues before they go to court. Having an agreement in advance will save time and money in court and also avoids having the judge make all the decisions concerning your children’s welfare. Don’t enter into a divorce thinking that you are going to punish your spouse because when things don’t go as planned, you might end up punishing yourself and your children instead. A divorce that is fair to all parties involved will have much better lasting results.

 

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