Can you really ever prepare for a divorce? Although people handle divorce differently, you can do some advance preparation from a legal point of view. It is harder to prepare emotionally, even if you are the one who desires the divorce, and even you know that it is the only option. Counseling can help prepare you for the emotional ups and downs that follow.
Legally, there are some things that you can do to get ready. Many people try to “tough it out”, not asking for help or advice and hoping that everything will fall into place when the time comes. But having a legal consult well in advance can help make things easier for everyone.
At a legal consult, you can discuss:
1. What are the options for dividing the property?
2. Are any of the property, accounts, or debts likely to be considered one spouse’s “separate property”?
3. How can a family business be divided?
4. How can bonuses that are earned, but not yet paid be divided?
5. What might happen with income tax liability or a refund?
6. What amount of child support am I likely to recieve/be required to pay?
7. What are the options for custody and visitation?
8. What about dating during the divorce?
9. How do I deal with issues of cruelty or infidelity in the marriage?
10. How long does it take to file the paperwork?
11. How will my spouse be notified that I filed?
12. How much does it cost?
13. How long does it usually take to get divorced?
14. How do we do this without missing payments on the house or car?
15. Will I be able to move away with my children after the divorce?
16. Can I buy a home or refinance our home while I am getting a divorce?
17. What if we can’t come to an agreement and have to go to trial?
The initial consult can help you understand all of your options and help you decide if you are really sure that you want to proceed. Everything that you discuss is confidential, and you don’t have to proceed with a divorce. You can go away and think about it and return later, or never.
If you are contemplating a divorce, don’t be hesitant to learn all that you can to help in your decision-making process.