Making the Decision to Divorce – Part 1: Three Things to Consider Before Filing Those Papers
Whether you’re getting a divorce in Hunstville or Northern Alabama or somewhere else in the country, it’s tough.
For most people, divorce is not a decision to be made lightly. It may be something that has been thought about for months, years, or even decades. With statistics as high as fifty percent of first-time marriages ending in divorce, we know many married people have crossed this unfortunate bridge. When making the decision to divorce, it is important to learn all you can about what to expect throughout the process.
Here are some serious considerations to think about before filing those papers:
Financial ramifications of divorce
Divorce is not just about getting away from the other person. Legally divorcing your spouse is also about splitting your assets. If one spouse has brought more in way of financial assets to the marriage than the other, this can be a problem for the other spouse. Divorces often can go smoothly, right up until the money issue comes up. Spouses can get nasty really fast when money is involved. Although the law in most states supports marital equity in all things, including income and assets, there are times when the reality of the situation doesn’t pan out so well. Are you ready to fight for your right to the marital assets? And remember, along with marital assets comes marital liabilities. It’s hard to make a case for one without the other, so do some serious thinking in this area.
Issues concerning the children
When kids are involved, it means other lives are at stake in your decision. Your divorce is not just ‘your divorce.’ You have to think of it as your entire family’s divorce. Hard questions need to be asked such as who will care for the kids daily? Who will care for the kids when they’re sick? Which parent will be the primary caregiver? Which parent will provide insurance? Where will holidays be spent? Besides these questions about day-to-day living, you’ll have the really difficult questions to ask. How do the kids feel about the divorce? Do your children understand the concept of divorce? Are your kids angry about the divorce? Then, your kids will have their own questions to ask you; hard questions that you will have to answer.
The long difficult process
You can’t just say you want a divorce and a genie grants your wish. There is no easy way to dissolve a marriage, no matter what the cheap divorce advertisements say. A divorce is a long process that, in many states, begins with a legal filing that essentially puts the marital status on hold. At that point, the parties may physically split. If children are involved, temporary orders may be made for custody and financial support. Decisions will have to be made about things like bills, schedules, child care, etc. This process can wear on you physically and emotionally. The process has a cooling-off period built in because the courts want you to have time to reconsider your decision.
Now that you’ve read what just filing for a divorce entails, perhaps you are reconsidering. Are there things to do before you make that trip to the lawyer?
Find out the last two considerations in Part Two of Making the Decision to Divorce.