There are many things to consider and prepare for, such as legal, financial, emotional, and parenting issues. Here are some of the things that everyone going through a divorce should know:
- Don’t file until you’ve given it time. Divorce is a serious decision that should not be made impulsively or without trying to work things out with your spouse. You may want to seek counseling or mediation before filing for divorce.
• Don’t expect to “win” your divorce case. Divorce is not a competition or a game. It’s a complex process that involves many factors and trade-offs. Rarely do divorcing spouses end up with everything they want. Instead of focusing on winning or losing, try to aim for a fair and reasonable outcome that meets your needs and the best interests of your children.
- Be careful about surveillance. If you suspect that your spouse is spying on you or tracking your activities, you may want to take steps to protect your privacy and security. For example, you may want to change your passwords, secure your devices, avoid posting personal information online, and be cautious about who you communicate with.
- Rein in impulsivity. Divorce can trigger strong emotions and impulses that may lead you to do things you regret later. For example, you may be tempted to date someone new, spend money recklessly, or badmouth your spouse in front of your children. These actions can have negative consequences for your divorce case and your future well-being. Try to think before you act and seek professional help if you need it.
- Divorce is not fast. Depending on where you live and how complicated your situation is, divorce can take months or even years to finalize. You will need to go through several steps and procedures, such as filing paperwork, exchanging information, negotiating terms, attending hearings, and resolving disputes. Be prepared for delays and setbacks along the way.
- Think about your children’s emotional well-being. Divorce can have a significant impact on your children’s mental health and development. They may experience feelings of sadness, anger, confusion, guilt, fear, or loyalty conflicts. They may also have difficulties adjusting to changes in their living arrangements, routines, relationships, and expectations. You can help your children cope by providing them with love, support, stability, and reassurance. You can also avoid exposing them to conflict or negativity between you and your spouse.
- Debt? Divorce does not automatically erase or transfer any debt that you or your spouse owe. You will need to decide how to handle any joint or individual debt that you have accumulated during the marriage, such as mortgages, loans, credit cards, or taxes. You may want to pay off any joint debt before the divorce or agree on how to divide it in the settlement agreement.
- Don’t forget about taxes. Divorce can have tax implications for both you and your spouse. For example, you may need to consider how to file your tax returns (jointly or separately), how to claim deductions or credits (such as for children or alimony), how to report income or losses (such as from selling assets or businesses), and how to deal with any tax liabilities or refunds.
- You will need to adjust your budget. Divorce can affect your income and expenses significantly. You may have less money coming in (due to loss of spousal income or alimony payments) and more money going out (due to legal fees, child support payments, or increased living costs). You will need to create a realistic budget that reflects your new financial situation and helps you manage your money wisely.
The Law Offices of Michele Cobin Friedlander wants to help you through your family law matter. Please call us for a free consultation at (818) 986-1900.