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What You Should Know Before Divorcing?
Divorce, regardless of how long you and your spouse have been together, maybe emotionally and financially taxing. It’s even more difficult if you’re unprepared or disorganized. We’ve put together a divorce planning checklist to assist you to navigate the process as smoothly as possible.
A divorce takes an average of 12 months to accomplish, from filing a petition to receiving a final court judgment. If the case proceeds to trial, it usually takes around 18 months. Divorce is never easy, but being prepared helps make the process go as smoothly as possible.
An experienced family law attorney can explain your rights and duties as well as guide you through the divorce process. If you haven’t discussed divorce with your husband yet, decide when, where, and how to do so. Choose a date that does not conflict with a big holiday, an anniversary, a child’s birthday, or a significant event.
Then set a time for both of you to communicate, think, reflect, and rest before work or other obligations emerge. Plan to conduct the conversation in a neutral location, preferably outside of the home and away from domestic stressors and distractions. Keep things simple, be calm, and avoid talking more than necessary.
Even peaceful divorces can become messy and complex. Put together a group of trusted friends and family members who will listen and help. It’s also a good idea to see a therapist, especially if you’re dealing with trauma like domestic violence or substance misuse. If you believe you could benefit from financial advice, make an appointment with a financial planner or a certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA).
Hire A Lawyer
Even if your divorce is amicable, it’s best to engage an attorney to assist you to understand your rights and responsibilities—and to make sure you do the necessary measures. That way, you may make informed decisions regarding your (and your children’s) future.
To choose a decent lawyer, seek referrals from relatives and friends and investigate numerous family law attorneys in your region. Make careful to interview several applicants so you may choose the one with whom you will feel most at ease.
Sort Out The Separation Particulars
Some couples live together until the divorce is finalized, but frequently one or both spouses move out before that. Choose a home for yourself, your partner, and your children. Remember that maintaining two separate residences is costly. You and your soon-to-be ex should strive to spend no more than 25% of your take-home salary on rent or mortgage payments. Make a realistic budget that reflects the new living arrangements and safeguards the safety of both houses.
Make Plans For The Kids
All divorces follow the same fundamental procedure, but when children are involved, additional measures and considerations must be taken. If you have children, schedule a consultation with a local family law attorney to address where the children will live (physical custody), visiting schedules, child support, and who will be involved in major decisions affecting the children (legal custody). You’ll also need to decide who your children will spend their holidays, birthdays, and vacations with, as well as how you’ll handle visits from extended family and friends.
List Your Possessions
Part of the divorce process is determining who gets what. Make a note (and take images) of personal artifacts that only you own, such as artwork, jewelry, family heirlooms, or photos and papers that have special importance to you. Give these belongings to a trustworthy family member or friend for safekeeping if necessary.
Make a list of all the properties you own jointly with your spouse. Gather essential papers (such as your vehicle’s registration and title) and try to include the worth of each item. Include real estate, vehicles, machines, household goods, personal belongings, and pets.
Gather Your Legal Documents
It’s critical to keep all of your financial paperwork in one place, such as a file or binder. Begin by gathering and making copies of your legal documents, which should include:
Marriage paperwork includes prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, as well as a marriage license. Federal and state tax returns for the previous five years. Real estate documents include deeds, appraisals, home cost basis, mortgages, and rental property records.
Receipts, tax returns, payroll information, and any registrations, patents, or trademarks are all examples of business paperwork. Wills, powers of attorney, and advanced healthcare directives are all examples of end-of-life planning.
If you are having difficulty locating documents (or if your spouse is making it difficult), your attorney can assist you. You’ll also need to update your insurance policies (so you’re not financially liable for your ex’s actions), will, and powers of attorney.
Organize Your Financial Documents
Make copies of your financial statements (for example, bank, investment, retirement accounts, health savings accounts (HSAs), and credit cards), insurance paperwork (homeowners, auto, life, and personal liability), and loans (mortgage, car, home equity, and personal loans). Keep your paperwork in both physical and digital form so you can access it wherever you are—and keep it all in a safe place.
Many bills and paperwork are now sent electronically. However, if you want to move after the divorce, set up a post office box now to avoid missing any vital documentation (remember to forward your mail to the new address).
Alter Your Passwords
Change all of your passwords, including email, banking, and credit cards. Because your spouse may know (or be able to guess) your passwords, this protects your privacy and ensures that you continue to have access to your personal accounts.
Safeguard Your Credit
Divorce does not immediately affect your credit score, but it may suffer if you have late or missed payments as a result of the divorce. Remember that if you live in a community property state, you and your spouse are equally liable for any debts incurred during your marriage.
Even if a divorce ruling assigns responsibility for a joint account to your former spouse, lenders and creditors might still pursue you. Once you’ve separated, open fresh accounts in your name to safeguard your credit. It’s also a good idea to get identity theft protection because divorce makes you vulnerable to scams perpetrated by fraudsters or even your ex.
How Long Does It Take To Divorce?
According to a Lawyers.com poll, the average time it takes to complete a divorce, from filing a petition to receiving a final court decision, is roughly 12 months. The average period for cases that proceed to trial is closer to 18 months.
What Are the Legal Justifications For Divorce?
The causes differ depending on whether the divorce is at fault or not. Adultery, desertion, impotence, infertility, criminal conviction, emotional or physical abuse, substance misuse, and mental illness are all legal reasons for an at-fault divorce. Irreconcilable conflicts, incompatibility, and irreparable breakdowns are all factors for a no-fault divorce.
What Is The Average Cost Of Divorce?
According to a Nolo poll, the average cost of divorce in 2019 was $12,780, which included $11,300 in attorney’s fees and approximately $1,480 in court charges, as well as fees for real estate appraisers, tax advisors, and other experts. However, considering that expensive divorces can push average expenses higher, the survey median of $7,000 is a more normal cost.
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