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The legal procedures involved in a divorce are much more complicated than just making a complaint in court. It’s not only an emotional decision, but many logistic choices need to be made.
There are different types of divorce. However, to understand the process for filing one, you must consider several things.
Here are the most important
Hiring An Experienced Attorney
If you and your spouse can settle matters without an attorney, this will be the most cost-effective route. But if things get complicated, which they often do, then family lawyers or divorce lawyers will help you resolve your issues without litigation. Here are two things to consider while hiring one:
- An attorney who will understand the importance of settling things quickly
- An attorney who will fight your case
It’s recommended to at least interview several lawyers before hiring them. Moreover, it’s best to hire someone who has at least ten years of experience.
Child custody is the most vital issue that needs to be discussed with your attorney. According to the law, child custody is decided based on the best interests of the child. If your spouse is abusive, a drug addict, or has a problematic relationship with your child, then custody of your child will more likely be granted to you.
In most cases, in joint custody, there’s a plan of how long you can see your child, which depends on many factors. However, you might need an attorney for child custody if your case is complicated.
Your Financial Situation
Knowing where you stand financially is also very critical in settling a divorce. One of the first aspects of divorce involves the distribution of assets and debts, and you’d naturally want your fair share. Marital assets like your home or your car and financial assets should be split equally.
However, there are other valuables that you might own, such as inheritances, pension plans, jewelry, artwork, or belongings before marriage. Similarly, the next stage is to decide what you owe your partner.
Moreover, there will be debts that you might owe as a couple, hence it will be split equally between partners irrespective of whose name it was registered. It’s recommended to keep the documentation or reports about financial matters and discuss it with your partner and lawyers.
Proof Of Income
Before moving forward with the legal proceedings, it’s best to gather all essential documents you may have such as your proof of income as well as your spouse’s. If you and your spouse own a business involving employees, you must supply all the details about taxes, especially income tax returns.
However, the situation may be a bit more complex if you and your partner are self-employed. In this case, you need to gather all business statements and financial statements to give a clear picture of your income. Get copies of these statements before filing for divorce.
Showing the proof of income is important because it will help in dividing assets equally. Moreover, if either you or your partner is involved in the fraudulent concealment of income or finances, this can ruin the case and the guilty party can lose all their earnings.
Joint Financial Accounts
In a divorce, emotionally motivated actions can take place, such as raiding the joint financial accounts. In such cases, you’d want to protect yourself from such a thing happening. If you fear your partner will be doing this, it’s recommended to issue a financial statement from the bank. Transfer half of the funds to your account in your name and make a copy of these reports.
After doing this, you must discuss with your partner and lawyer that you have transferred half of the funds to your name. However, in the case of savings accounts, money marketing accounts, or other types of investments, you must freeze your accounts if you fear your spouse would tamper with them.
It’s best to discuss every possibility with your attorney before implementing any action plan. Moreover, document all your expenditures before transferring the finances in your account.
When it comes to asset distribution, living conditions are an important consideration during and after your divorce. Ask yourself if you’re comfortable living with your spouse till you figure out your living situation. Otherwise, do you want to move out, or do you want your spouse to move out? Decide what your goals are and if you have the financial stability to move out.
Depending on your relationship with your spouse, the way you act weeks or months before the divorce can affect your case, especially if it involves the marital residence. Hence, it’s best to talk to your lawyer and discuss what you intend to do.
Divorces are emotionally draining and require you to make smart choices before getting down to business. It’s best to plan out your steps, gather pertinent documents, and hire an attorney to help you with the procedure.