Divorce is never pleasant. No matter how much time has passed since your honeymoon, I bet then you weren’t picturing the domestic mess that you’re having to handle now. While there’s a lot of emotional pain and stress on the way, you need to make some important decisions. A poor legal approach to divorce can get you into an even worse situation.
Legal Advice & Tips on Divorce
My first big piece of advice is to agree to mediate. This will save you a lot of money on legal bills, and could start you towards a healthier relationship with your ex-partner. I don’t know the details of your situation, but if it’s as bitter as some divorces can get, don’t worry! No one’s asking you to be friendly with your ex; just to discuss the situation like adults. Make sure your partner agrees to mediation whole-heartedly, or very little is going to be achieved. Make sure you both understand what you’re getting into, and agree on a few basic logistical things to begin with. Decide on a mediator and agree on the proportions of the fees. Set dates and times for the sessions as well. Having a level-headed conversation with your spouse in the initial stages goes a long way later in the process. If your ex isn’t playing ball, then your best bet is to hire a good attorney. This is a big decision, so take your time with it. You don’t want to hire a firm that specialises in criminal defence when tackling a civil case. Your lawyer needs to be proficient and experienced in divorce cases similar to yours. See Rogers and Moss for more information.
My next tip is to get as organised as possible, in terms of any important information. You could have the best divorce attorney in the world, but they’ll be totally useless without any evidence to work with. You’re going to be writing a lot of lists in the coming period. Create one long one, listing all of your assets and possessions. Even if there’s something which you know to be your spouses, write it down. This list needs to include all real estate; houses, rental properties, summer homes. It should also have any personal property (most of the things in your house) vehicles, bank accounts, stocks, and so forth. Another important thing to gather is any evidence of income. Pay slips, profit and loss statements, social security and the like can all play a major role in a divorce case. You also need to keep records of any recurring expenses and ongoing liabilities. Things like mortgage payments, car loans, food and utility expenses could all come into play during your case. Depending on the state you’re in, you may be required to submit a financial affidavit. See CT Law Help for details.
I hope this legal guide has made your divorce feel a little more manageable. I’ll leave you with something unrelated: keep it as easy as possible on the kids. The whole thing is going to be very hard for them, and the more civil you can be with your ex the better.