Regardless of how prepared you think you are to sign the papers; divorce can be an emotionally draining, stressful, and overwhelming process. The emotional turmoil in a strained marriage may make it difficult to focus clearly and make decisions about whether you should stay together or go through with the divorce. A divorce leaves long-term effects that may stick with you for months or even years, so there are a lot of factors to consider during a divorce. The first thing to consider is an attorney, and it’s recommended that you consult with New Albany Divorce Lawyers that you can trust. Your attorney will advocate for you, negotiate on your behalf and help you get the best possible settlement. Here are just a few of the factors to consider during a divorce.
Schedule a Consultation with Your Attorney
Schedule an appointment to talk with your attorney about the process of filing for a divorce. It’s important to be open and honest with your attorney about why you have chosen to file for a divorce; it may have an impact on the outcome. For instance, if your spouse has been abusive, you may also need your attorney to file for an order of protection. If your spouse hasn’t shown up for any counseling sessions or if there is a chance, they may not show up for court hearings, be sure to relay this information to your attorney.
Gather Your Documents
There are several documents you will need during the divorce process, including a valid marriage certificate, financial information, birth certificates for all children you have with your spouse, including adopted children, and any legal documents that you may have acquired throughout your marriage, such as a restraining order/order of protection.
When filing for divorce, one of the most important factors to consider is the children. Which of the spouses will have custody of the children is often one of the most difficult parts of a divorce. It is best to come to an agreement with your spouse before your court date; however, this isn’t always possible. So, it’s important that you are prepared for some of the things that will need to be shown to the court in order for a decision to be made. For instance, both you and your spouse will need to show proof that you are financially able to care for the children, as well as show proof of adequate housing. Once it is determined who the children will reside with on a full-time basis, the subject of child support will need to be addressed. Even if you agree to share custody, the judge may still order child support to be paid by you or your spouse.
Your lifestyle during the marriage may become an extensively contested issue during the divorce. In many situations, the judge presiding over the divorce hearing will often consider things such as which spouse handled the household finances and the difference in income between both spouses. The court may award alimony if one spouse has a significant financial advantage, and they may be financially responsible for their spouse for several years. Alimony is separate from child support, and it may be awarded on a temporary or permanent basis.
For many couples, their pet is will be a factor during a divorce. If you cannot come to an agreement on who will keep the pet, you should discuss custody with your attorney. It is common for many jurisdictions to recognize pets in the same category as other personal items, such as a vehicle or a boat, especially if your pet is pedigreed. The court will generally want information such as who is the primary caregiver for the pet, including who typically takes the pet to and pays for the vet bill, and which spouse is the most responsible for buying the food. Custody of your pet may be treated just like children in that you may share custody or have visitation days.
Property and Other Assets
In most situations, the more property you have collected during the marriage, the more difficult it may be to divide your assets. Community property is typically anything that you have acquired together during the marriage, including vehicles, homes, savings and checking accounts, a business, and gifts received during the marriage. If you have joint ownership with your spouse for the house, you will need to decide which spouse gets the house, if the property will be sold and the profits divided among you, or one spouse will buy the other spouses half of the property value.
Even the smallest mistake may lead to a significant disadvantage during a divorce, so it is extremely important that you hire an experienced divorce attorney to represent you through the process. If you aren’t sure which type of divorce is best suited for you and your spouse, be sure to discuss your options with your attorney.