Divorce is never easy or pleasant, even when both parties are reasonably amenable. However, it doesn’t mean you cannot take steps to make the entire experience more palatable, both in practical and emotional sense – and here are some suggestions on how to do so.
1. Learn Everything You Can About Your Joint Finances
Statistics show that about 40% of all divorce proceedings are mainly about money and property. So, if you want the things to go your way, you should be as aware of what your family owns as possible. Shared accounts and the passwords to them, investments, automatic payments, investment advisors and how to contact them – you should know all this information before you go to the court.
2. Hire a Proper Lawyer
In choosing divorce lawyers, their reputation is probably even more important when you need legal advice for any other matter. You see, there is a breed of divorce lawyers that aren’t as much interested in helping you in settling the matters peaceably as prolonging the proceedings as much as possible, bloating up your fees and having you fight until the bitter end, making mortal enemies out of you and your former spouse even if you were on reasonably friendly terms before. When you hire a lawyer, you should find out how his former cases went and to what conclusions they came. You want a lawyer that predictably provides quick solutions that are fine by everyone.
3. Keep Copies of All Your Financial Records
Tax returns, account statements, life insurance info, stock certificates, receipt for the purchase of some costlier items, anything you can imagine – it is better to keep all these things around readily available and carefully hidden from your spouse. When you have documental proof, it is much easier to prove yourself to be in the right.
4. Define Your Living Expenses
Your financial standing after the divorce is going to influence your life for a long, long time, probably for the entirety of your life. This means that decisions you make now are among the most important you are going to make, ever. Mistakes made due to lack of understanding or insufficient information are going to follow you around for years. Thus, defining your financial standing after the divorce is among the first things you have to find out. Figure out your current living expenses, in detail – if you don’t know what exactly you need, you cannot demand it in court and risk getting a poor settlement.
5. Expect Unexpected Expenses
You may think you’ve calculated all the potential costs of such a sudden change in your life, but reality is often different from what we expect, and problems may lurk around every corner. Try to keep a certain sum – at least $5,000 – set aside for such situations, and you will be ready for most of what life has to throw your way.
6. Don’t Make Drastic Financial Decisions
People going through a divorce and feeling the consequence of this process are often prone to making rash, impulsive decisions not only in personal affairs but in financial and vocational spheres as well. Changing jobs, moving to another city or state, selling assets, things of this kind. If you are feeling an urge to do so, don’t. Wait it out. If the desire remains in half a year’s time, go through with it. But most likely you will grow out of it.
It is impossible to make divorce enjoyable – but it is more than possible to turn it into just another fact of life, an obstacle you have to overcome. It doesn’t need to be life-breaking – it all depends on how you behave.
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