Divorce isn’t always an easy journey — especially if you have children. If you’re considering divorce, or even in the middle of one, there will be a lot of changes to anticipate, both legally and financially. The income you may be used to will now be reduced, however you’ll want to ensure you and your children still have a secure future even after you and your spouse part ways. With the help of an attorney, you’ll also want to make sure you have everything ready and in order to make it as seamless a transition as possible.
Here are 5 things you should do before divorce:
- Consider Spousal Maintenance
Spousal maintenance, or alimony, is is dependent on a multitude of factors such as both you and your spouse’s income, the length of your marriage, both of your ages and health, if one of your career’s were affected due to having children, and more. It’s there to allow you (and your children) to uphold a standard of living that you’re used to and to be fair to the spouse who may have given up their career or made a lower income.
- Hire An Attorney
Your divorce lawyer will help you make this transition as seamless as possible and will be your greatest asset through the process. Contact a local firm with experience; most will offer free consultations. They will walk you through the process and cover all the bases you might miss.
- Gather Financial Documents
You’ll want to gather all of your documents before you even file for divorce. Because this is a legal dissolution of marriage, it will rely heavily on documentation. Consult with your attorney on exactly what you will need — they will also advise you what to do with joint accounts.
- Figure Out Your Child Custody Goals
If you have children, this will probably be your number one consideration. Your divorce lawyer will likely also be an experienced child custody lawyer, so consult with them as well. Sit down and think about whether you’d like to fight for sole custody, or how you’d like to split custody with your spouse. Figure out a schedule that could work for both of you if you’d like to go with the latter option and see what is feasible.
- Work Out Your Budget And A Marital Balance Sheet
Write down all your assets and debts. This will come in handy when you are deciding what will be split between you and your spouse. Also work out a budget of what you spend while you are still currently married — take time and track your day to day. If you are the lower-earning spouse, this will be beneficial if you are trying to figure out how much spousal support you may need.
We understand that divorce is a challenging time and that you’ll need a qualified attorney to guide you through the legal process. Brandy Austin Law, P.C. has decades of experience and top-rated lawyers. Please check out our awards or testimonials page for reference and contact us for a free consultation at 817-841-9906 or by filling out a quick contact form here.