Three Things you Must Sort Out before Getting a Divorce

We are going to give it to you straight: in order to finalize your divorce, you’re going to need to come to agreement with your ex on a few key things. You’ve two options: either you agree on these things or the court decides for you.

Decisions will need to be made about settlement of property and debt, child custody, and child/spousal maintenance (support)– and you’ll both be better off if you can make these decisions yourselves without the court intervening.

More often than not divorce proceedings are acrimonious. It doesn’t have to be that way but it is anyway.

Is it worth fighting for the family house? Maybe. Is it worth fighting over who gets custody of the children? Maybe. But you’re not going to get everything you want at the end of this process, neither is your ex. That’s worth keeping in mind. In fact, make it your mantra.

Divorce isn’t about “winning” or “losing” – it’s about unwinding your lives so you can both move forward. This is the dissolution of a contract.

Property and Debt.

All property and debt acquired during your marriage must be divided, assigned or equalized. Property includes everything from vehicles to furnishings to bank accounts, real property, retirement benefits and stock options. It is the court’s duty to ensure the marriage property is equitably settled. In most situations, one spouse usually the wife) isunable to show proof that sue contributed monetarily to the house, car or other assets. A good way to start is to have proof of contribution to the family house or assets. This would help the court properly and equitably divide the family assets.

FUN FACT: Jeff Bezos (owner of Amazon) recently parted with 35 Billion Dollars when his divorce was settled with his ex wife of 25yrs. This made his ex one of the richest women on earth.

FUN FACT: Jeff Bezos (owner of Amazon) recently parted with 35 Billion Dollars when his divorce was settled with his ex wife of 25yrs. This made his ex one of the richest women on earth.

Child Custody.

When it comes to parenting, we’re all amateurs. Not everything we do is going to be perfect, especially when there are so many needs and interests that have to be balanced. Kids are resilient and they will survive (and thrive) post-divorce.

Custodial decisions are going to be an adjustment. It’s not easy. But remember that you and your ex will always have one thing in common: your love for your child(ren).

The courts, when deciding on custody take several factors like income and stability of the parents into consideration.

Maintenance aka Child and/or Spousal Support.

Money is never easy to discuss, and that can get harder when one person is asked to pay the other, or help cover the cost of raising children. The party being asked to pay is likely to focus on the dollars, not the sense behind the request. When asking for support, be as clear as possible on what current costs are for the children each month or for the spouse requesting the support. Show the portion you plan to pay, so it is clear to the paying spouse that the money they are being asked for isn’t a handout, it’s simply a share of the total cost.

You might also need to be clear about what won’t happen if you are not granted the support you need: the kids may not be able to participate in sports or other activities they love, you may need to move to a more affordable location that’s less convenient for the ex to visit. Painting the clearest picture possible is important.

Once you’ve a mental picture of these three issues, you’re ready to begin your divorce journey.

Once you’ve made the decision to get divorced. You already know where to start. Getting through the divorce doesn’t have to be terrible and costly. We’re sure you’ll like to get to a swift, amicable and fair dissolution of your marriage.

Here are some useful tips that will help you obtain your goals:

Be Patient. Patience is likely going to be your most important and invaluable tool during your divorce. The divorce process can take some time. Don’t expect things to happen overnight. Take the time you need to come to terms with what is happening, and make sure to think over your options carefully before making a decision.

Be Organized. Gather as much documentation related to your divorce as possible. Things like income information, any relevant property information and other financial information will be very valuable to you when it comes time to negotiate and divide your property and finances.

Also, take inventory of what assets and debts you have / what you think you have and get a list of your monthly expenses together. You will be better equipped to discuss support if you have a solid idea of your expenses on hand.

Be Reasonable and Ready to Compromise. Divorce is stressful, but remember that you need to be reasonable with your expectations. You aren’t entitled to everything, leaving your ex with nothing. Being reasonable with your expectations and compromising on things will lessen the animosity and make for a less expensive divorce.

Understand your Rights. Talk to an experienced divorce lawyer before setting out on this path. Know what you are legally entitled to, and what you aren’t. This will ensure that you won’t waste your time arguing for something you were never going to get in the first place, or lose credibility in the eyes of your ex, mediator or Judge. The same goes for knowing what the other person is or isn’t entitled to.

Don’t believe everything everyone else tells you. A lot of friends have advice that they want to give you about what you should be getting from your divorce. Politely accept, but don’t take it to heart. Truth is, every single divorce is different.

There are different facts, issues, assets and circumstances. While your friends or loved ones are trying to do right when offering advice, chances are it doesn’t apply. Your lawyer is very capable and knows what (s)he is doing. Let them do their jobs.

All the beat on your new journey.

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